Cluster members visiting the "Challenging Inequalities" Summer Academy in Essen

From July 20th to July 23rd, seven postdoctoral and doctoral researchers from the Politics of Inequality Cluster of Excellence gathered in Essen with members of the University of Duisburg-Essen’s Institut für Sozioökonomie, SCRIPTS Cluster of Excellence, and several other external guests, for the “Challenging Inequalities” Summer Academy. Here you can read the participant's report.

Early career researchers had the opportunity to share, discuss, meet one another, and – for many – experience their first in-person event in quite some time, and in several formats such as presentations, poster sessions, and informal dinners and down-time. A truly interdisciplinary group of researchers presented projects in various stages of completion, with a wide range of different themes such as discourse analysis surrounding wealth and income inequality, multidimensional poverty, gender differences in remote work settings, tax policy and discourse, electoral consequences of climate and immigration-related policy, political mobilization in poor communities, and flexible employment and work-family conflict…just to name a few.

These early career researchers were joined by several faculty members from each institution and project, but the clear focus of the workshop was to give young researchers plenty of opportunities to present not yet completely polished work, and to give one another constructive feedback and insights on how to move forward, along with a unique networking opportunity for what will hopefully result in many future collaborative works.

Given the unique location of Essen and its history as a key city in the Rurhgebeit, participants also had the opportunity to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Zeche Zollverein on the final full day of the conference and learn about the historical, economic, cultural, and environmental impacts that the coal industry played – and continues to play – on the region, Germany as a whole, and globally.

During the conclusion of the workshop, participants were asked to give feedback on many aspects of the four-day event. While many topics were discussed, one seemingly recurring suggestion seemed quite present: another workshop, in the near future …and preferably (hint) in a city with a lake…maybe in the southern part of Germany…

Autor: Patrick Sullivan