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Sara Frenzen

The Art of Friendship – A Deconstructive Analysis of Artistic and Narrative Project-Groups in the Field of Conflict-Transformation


Personal Information

sara frenzen

  • Born 14.04.1974 in Saarbrücken, Germany
  • 1994: Abitur (German university-entry qualification) at Mercator-Gymnasium Duisburg
  • 1996 – 1998: Study Program „Ecology and Anthropology“ at Oxford Brookes University
  • 2003 – 2006: BA – Political Science and English Studies at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 2006 – 2009: MA – Peace and Conflict Studies at Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
  • since 12.2012: Doctoral Candidate in the German Research Foundation's research group 1288 at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Working Experience and Internships


  • 1994 – 1996: Work-and-Travel in Israel, Greece and the UK
  • 1999 – 2001: Carer for Persons with Disabilities at Crossroads, Oxford, UK
  • 2001/2002: Voluntary service in various experimental projects for ecological/social sustainability in the UK, France and Spain
  • 2003/2004: Internship in the field of public relations and artist liaison at Deutsches Forum für Figurentheater und Puppenspielkunst (German Puppet Theater Forum), Bochum
  • 2004/2006: Inter-cultural Tutor at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, International Office
  • 2007/2008: Student assistant and tutor on the study program „Peace and Conflict Studies“ at Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
  • 2008: Internship in the field of political strategies and conflict-transformation at IPPNW
  • (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War), Berlin
  • 2009: English Teacher (free-lance) at Unikom, Magdeburg
  • 2010: Customer Service Advisor in the energy supply field at Job-AG/regio.com, Magdeburg
  • 2010/2011: Honorary editor of a district magazine and free-lance assistant-coordinator for various projects at Freiwilligenagentur Magdeburg (Volunteer Agency)


The Art of Friendship – A Deconstructive Analysis of Artistic and Narrative Project-Groups in the Field of Conflict-Transformation
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Bröckling
Mentor: Prof Dr. Judith Schlehe

My dissertation examines relational mechanisms of association and dissociation and in- and exclusion in social fields affected by violent or formerly violent international/inter-ethnic conflicts . It investigates the functionality of contacts along the sometimes rather fine line between unison and division, amity and enmity.
It focuses on artistic and narrative forms of communication and on their potential to aid symbolic renegotiations of concepts like „friend and foe“, „insiders and outsiders“, „loyalty and treachery“ and „honour and infamy“. My „objects of investigation“ are small-group-projects that unite different conflict-parties in theater-, arts-, dance or music-ventures and explore various conflict-narratives throughout the working-process.
The study aims to map dominant discursive features within those group-projects, as well as within the public depiction of the conflicts. It intends to scrutinize the semantics of amity and enmity and take a close look at practices of rapprochement and severance. By searching for „locations“ in which the processual and brittle nature of narratives become visible, the goal is to investigate what happens, when these „locations“ are opened up for a renegotiation of meaning.
I hope to gain insights into the interrelationship between images of the „Self“ and the „Other“ held by the groups' participants as well as into salient relational patterns articulated in their respective communities of origin. I also aim to shed light on what sort of social capital is being invested in order to sustain – or to change – relational patterns and identities.
My research follows a correlational-integrative sociology of knowledge and is informed by a postructuralist-deconstructionist notion of social science comparable to that of Laclau and Mouffe. It draws on approaches from disciplines of Sociology, Cultural Studies, Social Psychology and Political Sciences and unites methodological elements of discourse-analysis, narrative-analysis and ethnomethodological conversation-analysis.

  • Postadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    c/o Historisches Seminar
    Rempartstr. 15 - KG IV
    79085 Freiburg 
  • Besuchsadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    Erbprinzenstraße 13
    79098 Freiburg
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