Un/Certainty Reconsidered

Joint Workshop with the Zukunftskollege, Konstanz
Activity Date: 
Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018 to Thursday, Nov 29, 2018

At the end of November 2018, nine fellows from the Zukunftskolleg Konstanz came to Jerusalem for the Second International Workshop together with the Martin Buber Society of Fellows. The topic of the workshop, “Un/Certainty Reconsidered”, suggested the theme of uncertainty as a common thread that would allow the various disciplines to enter into dialogue. Indeed, the nine fellows from Konstanz and ten fellows from Buber represented a broad range of academic investigation: linguistics, neuroscience, drama, literature, biology, history, chemistry, and sociology. The workshop started with a joint dinner on Tuesday November 27th, followed by a day trip to Ein Gedi on Wednesday November 28th. Here the group enjoyed two impulse lectures inspired by their desert surroundings, followed by group work in small clusters, with the aim of coming up with typologies and methodologies for approaching uncertainty across disciplinary boundaries. The day was concluded with dinner at the festively decorated YMCA, where the Konstanz group stayed.
The second day took place at the Hebrew University, with two fascinating impulse lectures by guest speakers, followed by four individual presentations by fellows from Konstanz and Buber, all of whom reflected on questions of uncertainty in their methodologies and research subjects. After lunch, the group work from the previous day was presented, and the group enjoyed a tour of the Mt. Scopus campus. Finally, the day ended with concluding remarks by the organizers and reflective input from participants, particularly on the constructive role of the theme of uncertainty in bringing everyone together. Here it was decided that the workshop will be immortalized in a blog where all participants will share their perspective on uncertainty. The day ended on a high note with dinner at Jacko’s Street restaurant, which was followed – on Friday morning – by a tour of the Mahane Yehuda market and adjacent Nahla’ot neighborhood, giving the friendships established during this workshop – and the preceding workshop in Konstanz in June 2018 – an informal closure.