Susanne Schregel
ifk Research Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. March 2023 bis 30. June 2023

Imagining the Counter-University: Alternative Spaces of Academic Learning and Research from the Critical University to Public Climate Schools


Creating counter-universities became a widespread practice during the last third of the twentieth century. This research project focuses on the declaration of such »alternative« spaces of learning and research in the context of social movements and politically engaged art. It aims to historicize the proclamation of counter-universities as an imaginative practice oscillating between utopian draft and fictitious institution that established spaces where prefigurative politics could be experienced. The repertoires of action that evolved in this context are still available to express policies of knowledge and to articulate suggestions for social and educational reform. The project’s diachronic approach connects the histories of science and knowledge, education, democracy, and social movements.


Susanne Schregel is particularly interested in the history of social movements and political protest, the history of spatial-political interrelations, and the intersections between social history, political history, and the histories of science and knowledge. Since receiving her Ph.D. at the Technical University of Darmstadt in 2010, she has worked at several universities and has held fellowships at numerous research institutes in Germany and abroad, among them the Research Unit for the History of Education at the Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg; the Department of History at the University of Cologne; IKKM Weimar (»Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie«); the German Historical Institute London; the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh (funded by the EURIAS Program); »Historisches Kolleg«, Munich; and the Humboldt Foundation (Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship, 2023/24).


»Das hochbegabte Kind zwischen Eliteförderung und Hilfsbedürftigkeit 1978 bis 1985«, in: Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte 68 (2020) 1, S. 95–125; »Social Movements, Protest, and Academic Knowledge Formation. Interactions since the 1960s«, in: Special Issue, Moving the Social (2018) 60; Der Atomkrieg vor der Wohnungstür. Eine Politikgeschichte der neuen Friedensbewegung in der Bundesrepublik, 1970–1985 [= Historische Politikforschung, Band 19], Frankfurt/New York 2011.

08 May 2023
  • Lecture
IFK & IFK@Zoom
Susanne Schregel

Gegenuniversitäten. Variationsbreiten eines Phänomens

Von der »Kritischen Universität« zur »Volksuniversität«, von der »Walduniversität« zur »F.I.U. Free International University« – Gegenhochschulen auszurufen war eine imaginative Praxis zwischen Wissenschaft, Kunst und Politik, die sich seit den 1960er-Jahren in vielerlei Kontexten großer Beliebtheit erfreute.