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Virtual Worlds. First annual conference of the CRC 1567
21. Juni, 14:00 - 23. Juni, 13:00
Virtuality has become commonplace. It is a driving force for social and cultural transformations, as the pandemic has demonstrated. Virtuality has become so differentiated in its manifestations that it can be decoupled from the nimbus of the special and observed in its references to the life-world. This status raises the question of how current discussions about virtuality relate to the debates about virtual reality in the 1990s and how we can talk about virtuality today – with the changed conditions of its normalization in mind. It is necessary to detach the concept of virtuality from its rigid opposition to reality in order to circumvent the concomitant charges of the virtual as the extraordinary, other-worldly, and unreal. How such a contemporary concept of virtual worlds could look like is explored by the first annual conference of the Collaborative Research Centre 1567 Virtual Lifeworlds. In order to arrive at a different concept appropriate to current developments, we want to discuss what role virtuality currently plays in literary studies, history, art history, and media studies. The focus will be on the connection between the concept of virtuality and the concept of the world. It is precisely this interconnection that raises a number of fundamental questions in the humanities, such as the concepts of representation, plurality, relationality, and interactivity. Starting from the disciplinary debates, the conference promotes an exchange between the very different expectations towards the concept of virtuality in order to speculate together – and with the impetus of collective work – on the future of virtuality. Five topics are at the core of the conference: „The Counterfactual“, „In the Making“, „Worlding“, „Plurality“ and „Experimenting“.