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Karin Parienti-Maire

“Il faut cultiver votre jardin” (Voltaire). To a 'Politic of Friendship' in Community Gardens: a franco-german perspective.


Personal Information

Email: Freundschaft@parienti.net

1994-1999: Study of Germanistik, Politics und Philosophie in Paris and Heidelberg
  • Licence de langue, littérature et civilisation germaniques (BA)
  • Licence de philosophie (BA)
  • Maîtrise de langue, littérature et civilisation germaniques (Masters 1)
  • DESS d'Économie des pays de langue allemande (Masters 2)
1999-2001: Study of Sociology in Paris
  • DEA de Sociologie du pouvoir (Masters 2)
2003-2005: Permanent position as German teacher in France
Jan. 2013-present PhD candidate, Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, DFG Research Group 1288 "Friends, Patrons, Clients. Practice and semantics of friendship and patronage in historical, anthropological and cross-cultural perspectives”.


Publications, Lectures


  • Der Täter und sein Gewissen. Zum Problem der Verantwortung bei Günther Anders und Hannah Arendt, in: Günther Anders. Urlaub vom Nichts, Edition Art&Science, Wien 2003.
  • Editor with Christophe David der Zeitschrift Tumultes n°27-28: Günther Anders: Agir pour repousser la fin du monde, Oktober 2007.
  • Considérations sur Günther Anders et Hannah Arendt, in :Tumultes n° 28-29, Oktober 2007.
  • French translation of a commentary by Günther Anders and Hannah Arendt on the Duineser Elegien by Rilke, Edition Payot & Rivages, 2007.
  • Co-organiser with Florence Baillet und Arnauld Regnauld of a conference on: L'intime et le politique dans la littérature et les arts contemporains, Paris Heinrich Heine Haus, Juni 2010.
  • Honte et politique dans le Liseur de Bernard Schlink, in : L'intime et le politique dans la littérature et les arts contemporains, Florence Baillet und Arnauld Regnauld, Paris, Michel Houdiard, 2011.[Online] in: Poétique de l'Étranger n° 8; URL : http://www2.univ-paris8.fr/dela/etranger/pages/8/parienti-maire.html
  • Une souris vaut un prince: politique de Kafka, esthétique de Kafka, Tagung des CRPC (Centre de Recherches en Philosophie Contemporaine) der Universität Strasbourg: Les philosophes lisent Kafka, (Mai 2011)
  • Wir wollen kein' Zaun, Kongruenz kleinbürgerlicher Ethiken und neoliberalem Grünflächenmanagement: Wintertagung des Graduiertenkollegs : « Freunde, Gönner, Getreue », Schloss Beuggen, Baden (Februar 2014)"
  • « Les éthiques environnementales », Vortrag im Rahmen der Winterschule des Teilprojekts
    Nachhaltigkeit des Verbundprojekts 'Sair l'Europe'/ 'Europa begreifen', Goethe Universität Frankfurt (Februar 2014)
  • 'Il faut cultiver notre jardin', la transition écologique par le jardinage collectif en ville, Internationale Tagung des Teilprojekts Nachhaltigkeit des Verbundsprojekts: « Europa begreifen : Les chemins politiques de la transition écologique, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (Oktober 2014), Publikation in Vorbereitung
  • Jardinage urbain et émancipation, Veranstaltung der Forschungsgruppe: AMUP (Architecture Morphologie/Morphogenèse Urbaine et Projet), INSA Strasbourg: Institut national des sciences appliquées, (Dezember 2014).



“Il faut cultiver votre jardin” (Voltaire).
To a 'Politic of Friendship' in Community Gardens: a franco-german perspective.

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Bröckling

Tutor: Prof. Dr. Gisela Riechert


This research project straddles the disciplines of the sociology of social movements and political theory and aims to explore the social phenomenon of ‘urban gardening’ in its political context. As an indicator of social change in microcosm, such gardens function as an ‘image’ of the communitarian phenomenon as well as heterotopic places (Foucault) that naturally can also be seen as a social experiment.

Because the complex nature of the social connectivity of friendship means that it sits directly on the boundary between the private or intimate realm and the corporate realm, the negotiation of division or re-division between the public and private spheres are particularly visible in its forms of expression. Therefore the empirical part of this dissertation will lay particular focus on the sociality of friendship. I will also argue that, in the context of the natural and social environment of the community gardens, this practice of friendship possesses a particular political impetus. This can be seen in the utopian vision of the gardens as symbolic places in common, multiple ownership, as well as in their every day dimension as a location for social and political practices.

The following research questions will be considered:

  • To what extent are these gardens the locus for political experimentation or the escapist retreat into the private realm?
  • In what ways do the social structures of friendship interact with the political impetuses behind the community gardens?
  • Which models of subjectivation are reflected in these gardens?
  • To what extent do tensions deriving from traditional modes of political domination persist in the running of these gardens?
These questions will be addressed by means of a qualitative study of a number of community gardens in France and in Germany (Paris, Nice, Berlin and Freiburg); observer participation will be the main mode of research. The reality of field research and ‘grounded theory’ means that these research question may need to be refined and revised during the research process. This sociological empirical approach will be supplemented by a cultural and historical study of the forerunners of the community gardens within the context of the history of ideas, ideas of social utopianism and modern social experimentation.


  • 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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