Klaus P. Hansen (Passau): “Recht und Kultur”


Seeing as the disciplines of philosophy, sociology and law themselves have been unable to convincingly define the difference between culture and law - as Klaus P. Hansen asserts - a renewed attempt shall be launched from a cultural studies perspective. Philosopher Stemmer sees the special character of law in how it carries sanctions and criminal law scholar Hassemer points to the precision of laws. However, both the threat of sanction and precision also apply to culture. Hansen starts with the trait common to law and culture of how both steer our actions through habits and discovers a difference in the functions fulfilled by these habits. Culture helps create individual and collective identities and therefore both delimits and excludes. According to Klaus P. Hansen, law, however, removes discrimination by dedicating itself to the aim of justice.

Curriculum Vitae

Prof. Dr. Klaus P. Hansen studied English and German Language and Literature studies at the University of Bonn. In 1972, he obtained his doctorate degree in the field of American Studies at the University of Düsseldorf with a thesis on Herman Melville. Professor Hansen completed his habilitation on the topic of "Die retrospektive Mentalität" ("The Retrospective Mentality") at the University of Essen in 1981. In 1982, he was appointed professor for American Studies at the University of Passau. Through numerous publications and lectures on the concept of culture, Professor Hansen distinguished himself as one of the leading cultural theorists in Germany. From 2003, he centered his research particularly on the issue of collectivity. In the same year, he founded the "Forschungsstelle Grundlagen Kulturwissenschaft" at the University of Passau, of which he has been the director from founding to present. Professor Hansen was accorded emeritus status in 2007. His extraordinary dedication to scholarship is shown by the Hansen-Stiftung in his name - a foundation that supports young academics and research projects in the field of collectivity studies.

Selected publications

  • Kultur und Kulturwissenschaft: Eine Einführung, Tübingen/Basel: UTB, Franke 2011 (4th completely revised edition).
  • Kultur, Kollektiv, Nation, Passau: Stutz Verlag 2009.
  • Kulturbegriff und Methode: Der stille Paradigmenwechsel in den Geisteswissenschaften (Ed.), Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag 1993.
  • Die Mentalität des Erwerbs: Erfolgstheorien amerikanischer Manager, Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag 1992.
  • Die retrospektive Mentalität: Europäische Kulturkritik und amerikanische Kultur, Tübingen: Günther Narr Verlag 1984.
  • Vermittlungsvorgang und Vermittlungsfiktion in den drei großen Erzählungen Herman Melvilles, Neue Beiträge zur Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Volume 12, Frankfurt: Athenäum 1973.