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Research orientation

Translation Network (Data: Index Translationum 2008)
In my current research, I investigate the underlying dynamics of international cultural exchange and the (self)organization of artistic communities. My research is guided by the principles of analytical sociology (Hedström & Ylikovsky 2010). The fundamental goal is to explain the emergence of aggregate, social phenomena from the actions and interactions of individual and corporate actors. Explaining entails identifying the underlying social mechanisms that produce the emergent social phenomenon (Epstein 1999). Social mechanisms are middle-range theories that model a type or class of social process that reliably generates a certain type or class of social phenomenon (Hedström 2021). In my empirical research, I combine social network analysis, agent-based modelling, and semi-structured qualitative interviews to identify and model social mechanisms.

At the University of Siegen, I work in the eurolit project [project website]. Part of the project is devoted to collect data on literary book translations from the national libraries across Europe. Since the discontinuation of the UNESCO Index Translationum in 2009, this is the first large-scale effort to collect translation data. Book translations are viewed as a network of intercultural exchanges, with languages as the network nodes and book translations as the directed edges that connect the languages. My work focuses on identifying the social mechanisms that give rise to the observable structure of the book translation network.

Before starting my PhD at the University of Siegen, I worked on questions relating to family sociology and social gerontology with Professor Michael Wagner (University of Cologne). With Doctor Christoph Kern (University of Mannheim), I explored sociological perspectives on fairness in machine learning and automated decision-making.

Research projects

The European Literary Field: Structures, Processes and Networks of Book Production and Translation in Europe

More Information: Project on Gepris (DFG), Fact Sheet


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