About the Author

Jörn Ahrens

E-Mail: joern.ahrens@sowi.uni-giessen.de

Jörn Ahrens is Professor of Cultural Sociology at Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany, and Extraordinary Professor of Social Anthropology at North-West University, South Africa. He holds a PhD in Sociology from Free University Berlin and a Habilitation from Humboldt University, Berlin. His main research fields are: Violence, culture, and society; popular media and culture; nature and culture; cultural theory. Recent publications are Praise of Biopolitics? The Covid-19 Pandemic and the Will for Self-Preservation, in: The European Sociologist, Issue 45: Pandemic (Im)Possibilities Vol 1, 06/2020, <https://www.europeansociologist.org/issue-45-pandemic-impossibilities-vol-1/theorising-praise-biopolitics-covid-19-pandemic-and-will>; Der Mensch im Klima. Klimawandel und Anthropologie, in: Christoph Wulf / Jörg Zirfas (eds.): Den Menschen neu denken, Paragrana. Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie, Vol. 29 (1/2020); and Zur Erfindung des Comics in Deutschland. Frühe Perspektiven der Comicforschung, in: Closure – Kieler e-Journal für Comicforschung, Vol. 7 (11/2020), <https://www.closure.uni-kiel.de/closure7/ahrens>. His current research focuses on the cultural perception of climate change in Southern Africa and on the discourse about comic books in Germany from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Contributions by Author: Jörn Ahrens

Metaphors of Migration: An Introduction

Currently, migration represents one of the most challenging problems to which societies are called to respond. This guest-edited issue of On_Culture engages with some of the less-explored facets of migration, focusing on the idea that the lived reality of migration is always also framed by discursive formations, and that metaphors can function as creative devices therein to establish a broader perception of what migration could or even should mean in the first place. Taking this perspective, where imagination and lived migration are intricately linked through layers of discourse, should allow us to shed some new light on the topic of migration.

The Ubiquitous View

Surveillance, Imagination, and the Power of Being Seen

To see and be seen is the most explicit obsession in modernity. Our cultural imagination is loaded with images of visual encounters that remain one-sided as clandestine views on the other that deprive the other as individual of its very intimacy. The act of being seen, therefore, is a highly political act. Usually to be seen by the other should demand the act of recognition and, therefore, contribute to the establishment of the self as social subject. […]