Dis/continuities of academic life or: How to enjoy the PhD journey – Keynote Talk at Doctoral Colloquium of the Technical University of Munich

May 6, 2024 | Talks

How to get started with a PhD project? How to find your topic and stay true to your interests and values through the highs and lows of independent research? How do you find your own voice as a scholar? And, perhaps most importantly, how to make sure you enjoy the PhD journey despite the challenges of today´s academic system?

Nina Klimburg-Witjes’s talk will not provide straightforward answers to these questions but will offer a reflexive and personal journey through the dis/continuities of academic life. Drawing on some of my research projects and experiences from early Ph.D. to professorship—from fieldwork encounters with security actors to publication strategies, grant writing, and forms of collaboration— Nina will provide a behind-the-scenes view of research and career trajectories (constantly) in the making.

The second part of Nina’s talk will introduce the ERC-funded research project “FutureSpace – Negotiating Relations between European Integration and Europe´s Future in Outer Space” and present interests, themes, and experiences from our ongoing research. The project explores the coproduction of envisioned space futures and techno-political orders on Earth. Using the joint European Ariane launcher as a case study, we explore how the politics of the present are shaped by how the future of space is envisioned and vice versa. To do so, we develop a multi-sited, interdisciplinary ethnography that pays symmetrical attention to the material and imaginative aspects of space infrastructures in transformation.