Wörterbuch der Gegenwart
100 Years of Now Library
Editor: Bernd Scherer, Olga von Schubert and Stefan Aue
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin, 2019
712 pages, German
Price: 38 €
What comes after universalism? Many of the categories and concepts of modernity carry on historical interpretive patterns from which critical, post-colonial and feminist thinkers worldwide are distancing themselves. But how can we communicate about a globalized present without agreeing on certain basic concepts? The Wörterbuch der Gegenwart (Dictionary of Now) uses the examples of the twelve keywords Fear, Image, Thing, Violence, Justice, Body, Market, Politics, Language, Animal, Truth and Time to show how definitions can be reassessed by established voices. Exclusion mechanisms and assumptions regarding race, class and gender, but also space and time, are thus made visible. At the same time, shifts and expansions of meaning arise in order to linguistically reshape the world.