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URPP Language and Space

Serap Öndüc

Serap Öndüc, MA

  • Former doctoral student
  • FFG Interactional Spaces

Serap Öndüc had joined the URPP Language and Space on 1 July 2016.

PhD project: Multimodal projection and re-thematization in church services


Based on video footage of a portfolio of Lutheran church services in a south Hessian congegration (southwestern Germany), multimodally performed situational projections and re-thematizations will be investigated. The empirical evidence shows that whether these occur at all depends on the form of service, the (traditional) communion service displaying near to none, while forms like the so-called “Alpha”-service display projections and re-thematizations numerously and continuously. A manifest rituality is seemingly replaced with a persistent construction of a “common thread” throughout the service. But what are the specific (coherence creating) functions of projecting and re-thematizing? A working hypothesis is that they lend social relevance and meaning to the projected or re-thematized service elements, specifically highlighting the sermon as the service’s ritual centerpiece, while at the same time construing and constructing the superordinate service topic and its understanding as a form of recipient design (Schmitt/ Knöbl 2013). What seems to be self-evident in traditional services, must apparently be made explicit in diverging formats.

Multimodal projections and re-thematizations range from data projections using visual images and/or text, bell-ringing, introductions and comments by varying participants, to songs performed by the church band and event-like humorous skits attuning the congregation for the upcoming sermon. Less clearly assignable projections and re-thematizations, for instance a duo performing a collage of psalm quotations and poetry immediately prior to the sermon, are particularly interesting. 

The dissertation will offer a typology of the varied manifestations of projections and re-thematizations, and draw from established concepts, such as architecture-for-interaction, social topography and interactional space (Hausendorf/ Schmitt 2013) in order to reconstruct the spatial and interaction-related prerequisites for their realization.

Supervisor: Heiko Hausendorf

Funded by: URPP Langage and Space

Selected bibliography

Hausendorf, Heiko / Schmitt, Reinhold (2013): Interaktionsarchitektur und Sozialtopografie. Umrisse einer raumlinguistischen Programmatik. Working papers of the URPP Language and Space. Vol. 1, May 2013.

Schmitt, Reinhold / Knöbl, Ralf (2013): Recipient design aus multimodaler Sicht. In: Deutsche Sprache 41/3, 242-276.