Hamburg May 2015

The recorded lectures/sessions of the last CS in Hamburg can be found under the following link:

The videos may be put on other websites, provided the original source / link is indicated.


Common Session, Hamburg 4 – 6 May 2015
Institute for Criminological Research

The programme of the upcoming Common Session is available under the following link:


Crimes against Reality

From the outset, the question of reality was a critical issue for critical criminologists. Their deconstruction of “crime” and “the criminal”, and related phenomena like “terrorism”, “antisocial behavior”, or “organized crime” challenged not only core concepts of “administrative criminology” but also “realist” concerns with capitalism’s role in structuring social relations and producing inequality. By focusing on transgression and resistance of both material and symbolic orders, cultural criminology brought another layer of reality into play.

Among the many challenges criminology faces today, the transformation of technologies through the digitalization of data and the rise of algorithm is certainly one of the biggest, as it gives the question of reality a very different spin. Reality, so to say, has gone virtual. This development gives rise not only to new phenomena and spaces of crime (such as cyberspace or financial transactions), but also to new modes of control and surveillance. It fuels the expansion of a pre-crime criminology where expectations of future events determine forms of policing in the present. Virtualization both in a temporal and a spatial sense has real effects. Cultural perspectives, at the same time, elaborate how the fictional and the imaginary are seeping into our present, shaping the reality of everyday life as much as the governance of crime and security. As cultural scripts, crimes against reality are already anticipated. Philosophy joins in these perspectives when conceiving of the virtual as the possible, that is, as a question of becoming and resistance.

Recent debates in social theory highlight the relevance of non-representational
approaches. According to them, it is the material fabrication of the social that matters. Technologies and practices like (terror) lists, drones, or infrastructures, for example, produce certain subjectivities and render the world in a particular manner accessible to intervention.
Green criminology and problematizations of state crimes “against humanity” develop their own conception of the materiality of suffering, destruction and disaster. Crime, once again, has become very real.

The 2015 Common Session in Hamburg invites our partners, MA and PhD students as well as staff members, to take on this challenge. We are especially interested in papers that address “Crimes against Reality” from the following perspectives:
• Thematically, ”crimes against reality” invites participants to present their work on the reality of those crimes that act in the realm of the virtual as well as on those realities of crime (and their governance) that seem unreal, unwittnessed, or speculative.
• Philosophically, ”crimes against reality” will be a forum for examining a notion of reality that we see in danger, under threat, vanishing, or indeed emerging. What do we make of the evermore complicated relationship between reality and its (in)visibility?
• Politically, the conference will be a platform for debating emerging and potential politics of governing crime’s new realities and of governing “old” forms with new means? What’s new about punishment, surveillance, or risk management in an age of digital everyday realities on the one hand and hyper material catastrophes on the other?
• Post-socially: What perspectives are opening up when we relate “crimes against
reality” to “crimes against humanity”? What, in other words, could a critical
criminology be that looks beyond the “human” to include other (i.e. endangered or threatening) species or collectivities?
• Methodologically: What methods do we need to inquire into criminology’s ‘precarious’, virtual, speculative realities?
• Self-critically, the conference will be an opportunity to think about the “crimes
against reality” that our own discipline might be guilty of. Do we, as critical, cultural criminologists care what reality is and whether and how it does or should change? If there is such a thing as public criminology, what is it that cultural criminologists want to bring to the „public“, and who/what is the „forum“ in the first place?


How to get to the University

If you arrive by plane:

Look for the “S-Bahn” (suburban railway) sign in the airport building.

Buy a one-way trip ticket from one of the ticket vending machines for the “Greater Hamburg Area” which costs 3.50. It is the tariff group no “3” on the screen.

Take the line “S1” in direction “Ohlsdorf”. When you arrive at “Ohlsdorf” station stay in the train. There it will be combined with another train. The direction sign now says direction “Wedel”.

Get off the train at “Hauptbahnhof”(main station). Take the “S21” in direction “Elbgaustraße” which leaves at the other side of the same platform.

Get off the train at “Dammtor” station (see map )

If you arrive by train:

There are trains that stop at “Dammtor”, the University is within walking distance (see map).

If you arrive at “Hauptbahnhof” take the “S21” in direction “Elbgaustraße” or the “S 11” in direction “Blankenese”. Get off the train at “Dammtor” station (see map )

Hauptbahnhof” and “Dammtor” are also connected to the buses 4 and 5 that take you even closer to the Institute (Stop “Grindelhof”).

Public transport:
see: or Online timetable:

Close Stops:

Grindelhof“, buses 4 and 5

Dammtor“, suburban railway S11, S21 and S31

Hallerstraße”, subway U1, then the Bus 5 or by foot

Schlump“, subway U2, then Bus 4 or by foot

Hoheluftbrücke“, subway U3, then Bus 5

Institut für Kriminologische Sozialforschung
Institute for Criminological Research
Allende Platz 1
20146 Hamburg


Student accommodation



Hamburg is celebrating the “Havengeburtstag“ on May 8 – 10, 2015. Prices for accommodation during that time may go up and it is necessary to book as soon as possible!

Schanzenstern Übernachtungshaus, Bartelsstraße 12, 20357 Hamburg (“Schanzenviertel”, 25 min walking distance to the University)

Rooms between 19 € (5 bedroom ) – 41,50€ (single) per person/night

Breakfast 8 €

Contact:,, phone: 0049(0)40/4398441

Basement Rotherbaum, Rappstraße 8, 20146 Hamburg
(„Rotherbaum“, 5 min walking distance to the University)

Rooms between 27€ – 39€ per person/night

Contact:,, phone: 0049(0)40/36111239

Instant sleep – backpacker hostel, Max-Brauer-Allee 277, 22769 Hamburg (“Schanzenviertel”, 25 min walking distance to the University)

Rooms between 18,50€ (12- or 14-bedroom) – 48€ (single, kingsize bed) per person/night

No breakfast, but fully equipped kitchen

Contact:,, phone: 0049(0)40/43182310

Backpackers St Pauli, Bernstorffstrasse 98, 22767 Hamburg

(“St. Pauli”, 30 min walking distance to the University)

Rooms between 17,50€ (8-bedroom) – 30€ (twin bedroom) per person/night

Different breakfast offers

Contact:,, phone: 0049 (0)40/23517043

Superbude St. Pauli, 1-7, 22769 Hamburg

(“Schanzenviertel“, 25 min walking distance to the University)

Rooms between 16€ (Backpacker) – 30€ (twin bedroom) per person/night

phone: 0049(0)40/807915820

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