What does engaged science mean?

Multiple perspectives, shared goals: Ambrusch-Rapp, Schmitt, Pirker, Soleymani (from left to right)

Engaged science can be understood as a multifaceted dialogue between science and other areas of society, such as social services, art and culture, social movements and initiatives, urban actors or individual citizens. The aim is to anchor the university as a hub for dialogue. It can include a bundle of different approaches such as citizen science research, i.e. the involvement of citizens with their expertise in research projects, or the opening of the university to the city and region through citizen-oriented events outside the university premises. All these approaches are united by the attitude that research and teaching can be designed in a participatory way (von Unger, 2014; Bergold & Thomas, 2012). In research and teaching, students as well as associations, companies or social initiatives are regarded as equal partners, each with their own knowledge resources (Kaltmeier, 2012). In a co-creative process, projects such as a joint event or a joint research or practice project are planned and implemented together. This form of cooperation is becoming increasingly relevant against the backdrop of multiple and interwoven crises such as the climate crisis, nationalism and racism, wars and violence. The big questions of our time require different social actors and forms of knowledge to come together and the ability to develop knowledge and skills in collaboration with others and to apply it to real-world problems (Keller & Limaye, 2020).

"Better together". Ecosocial utopias

In research, teaching and third-mission I work closely with colleagues from the fields of social work, art, culture and with social movements and initiatives. The following photographs, links and videos give an impression of existing partnerships and our joint activities such as the collaboration with Dr. Bettina Pirker from the cultural and theater space VENTIL in Klagenfurt. 

Students of the seminar International Social Work and social movements transformed the VENTIL cultural space in Klagenfurt into a solidarity city in May 2023. Thank you to Dr. Bettina Pirker from VENTIL and from the association Kärnten andas that we were allowed to be creative with you. Thanks to all students who have worked with great commitment on the topic of solidarity cities and have developed own ideas and strategies for solidary actions.


Video © Bettina Pirker, see also: https://twitter.com/i/status/1659076353117831170

Music: Komiku - Level 10 - Finally together - FMA Free Music Project

Public media, street newspaper, children's media

Research needs discussion and exchange - in scientific journals, but also beyond. Thank you, dear team of the Kärntner Allgemeine Zeitung (kaz), the Apotheken Umschau, the mini-max journal for kinds, and the MiGAZIN for the cooperation on the topics of solidarity and the need for care.

Arts-based practices. Rap and Performance Art meet University teaching

Since April 2021, there has been a teaching collaboration with multimedia artist and cultural worker Barbara Ambrusch-Rapp, with the Solband and with rapper Marko Mudri. Performance art and music find their way into the university teaching and inspire both students and teachers. The teaching format is constantly being developed further in cooperation with Jasmin Donlic and was presented at the first Diversity Day at Klagenfurt University together with Barbara Ambrusch-Rapp and the students Amina Bjelic and Azime Ön.

The joy of cooperation

Sabrina Schifrer from the radio station AGORA will report on the topic of "cooperation" on June 15, 2023 and has invited Bettina Pirker from Kärnten andas, Yulia Izmaylova from the association VADA and me to the radio studio for an interview. Tune in at 7 pm. More information here.

Pirker, Schmitt, Izmaylova @Sabrina Schifrer

Züri City Card meets social work

Engaged science brings together expertise from practice and research - thanks to Bea Schwager from the Züri City Card association for our collaboration on the topic of solidarity cities and to Markus EmanuelGunther Graßhoff and Marc Weinhardt for inviting Bea and me as a team to their event series Social Pedagogy and Sustainability. Photograph: Marc Weinhardt (2022).

Long Night of Research

Our working unit Transnational Migration and Solidarity Research of the Institute of Education was part of the Long Night of Research at Klagenfurt University in May 2022. The public was invited to get to know the research and teaching topics of the university. Our topic? Of course, solidarity! Our station included a children's workshop, a photo station "Messages of Solidarity", a video installation and a quote and photo wall. Thanks to Lukas Baumann, Elisabeth Engberding and Kerstin Piskernig for the great teamwork!