Studium Generale: Theorizing luxury

Autorin: Aida Murtić

After the theme of “Resources” animated the previous summer semester, winter semester 2019/2020 took us at the forefront of exploring the idea of “Luxury”. Every Monday, between 7 November 2019 and 27 January 2020, one of eight speakers brought their understanding of the concept of luxury and its role in the construction of society.

Heidelberg’s Studium Generale is already an established format that brings together disciplinary diverse reflections on the provoking key topic and engages them in a dialogue with wider audience.

Kick-off lecture by professor Jean-Pierre Wils from the Radboud University introduced the terms of “luxury euphoria” questioning what is left from the “promise of luxury” and what “forward-thinking luxury” could be. In the weeks that followed, we had a range of opportunities to learn about gift-giving rituals between humans and non-humans, to hear about Buddhism’s view on the issue of luxury, test if luxury exists in the natural world, and to question if culture could be considered as luxury. The closing lecture of the professor Hans Peter Grüner from the University Mannheim raised the dilemma if luxury is a private thing or social phenomenon, opening space for thinking about the new future avenues of theorizing the luxury.

All talks are available on the YouTube channel of the University Heidelberg:

Do not forget to keep reserved Monday evenings for Studium Generale also in the following semester (19:30h, Aula of the New University)!