What is actually going on when professors are appointed? How do research profiles of individual scholars emerge? How are different candidates compared? How are very consequential recruitment decisions legitimized?
To address these and other questions, this project draws on archived records of 145 appointment procedures that took place from 1950 to 1985 at 16 German universities. Studying this material, my research in the project is mainly concerned with dynamics and processes of (e)valuation, positioning, performativity, and subjectivation. Going beyond methodological concerns about what documents ‘actually’ prove, this project takes serious the textual agency of documents.
The project was funded by the German Research Foundation (2015-2018).