ViCom’s Kick-off Meeting

November 16—18, 2022

Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften
Am Wingertsberg 4, 61348 Bad Homburg vor der Höhe

The languages of the workshop were English and ASL/IS. Interpretation between English and ASL/IS was provided.


Participants at ViCom’s kick-off meeting (Photo by Stefanie Wetzel)

Report on ViCom’s kickoff meeting, November 2022

From November 16th to 18th, the first annual ViCom meeting kicked off our Priority Program, ViCom. Set at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg, the meeting started with a brief introduction of the new priority program by the two coordinators, Cornelia Ebert and Markus Steinbach, and welcome notes by Prof. Matthias Lutz-Bachmann (Director of the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften), Ulrich Schielein (CIO Goethe University), Prof. Rembert Hüser (Dean of the Faculty of Modern Languages) and Dr. Helga Weyerts-Schweda (Program Director of the German Research Foundation, DFG). Afterwards, all 19 projects presented their research topics and methodologies. The pretty long day was ceremoniously concluded with a reception at the Forschungskolleg, which offered the opportunity to continue the discussion in an informal setting. At the end of the day, all participants walked away with the impression that ViCom offers an enormous breadth of topics, and an impressive line-up of projects.

The second day started with a plenary presentation of ViCom measures implemented to support collaboration and exchange.

Plenary presentation of ViCom measures

Afterwards, the project members split up into working groups tackling various aspects of the priority program. At the end of constructive discussions in the working groups, not only did we know what people are planning to do in the first phase – but, in addition, we had already developed a good idea as to how to proceed and support each other to reach common goals. The second day was concluded with an inspiring plenary presentation on the multimodal revolution in linguistics, given by our first Mercator Fellow, Philippe Schlenker.

Philippe Schlenker’s plenary presentation

Two more workshops were scheduled for the third day. While the first workshop discussed legal issues related to multimodal data, the second workshop introduced the ViCom Data Network and ethical aspects of empirical studies in the field of visual communication. Furthermore, the constitutive meeting of ViCom’s steering committee took place. The members of the steering committee discussed, among other things, how the central project can support ViCom projects to cooperate across the distances between our cities, to apply for funding for workshops, to apply for funding relating to gender, family, and mental health issues and to present their results in a uniform way, to sharpen ViCom’s profile.

All in all, we could not have wished for a nicer and more stimulating meeting, nor a better start for ViCom altogether. We would sincerely like to thank all participants for their great work, and for the great atmosphere (work-related and otherwise) that so many of us already happily commented on during our days in Bad Homburg. Thank you all!

Best regards,
Cornelia, Markus & Volker