Biographical Sketch: Paul-Christoph Trüper


I am a junior scholar in Cultural Studies, specialising in philosophy; most of my scholarly activities need to take place in my spare time. Currently, I am especially interested in issues concerning the biographical development of persons and the Philosophy of Childhood.  This research is evolving into a PhD-Project at the moment. Furthermore, disability issues add additional facets to my inquiries.

Generally, the major focus of my work is Practical Philosophy – Ethics, applied to different contexts and situations from everyday life – with additional contributions from Social Philosophy. Regarding cultural history, I’ve rooted myself in the Long 19th century (Early Modernism), up to World War I: I am especially interested in the processes of social change that let (more) modern societies emerge from primarily traditionally structured forms of communal, social life. This includes the – still open-ended – quest for more viable, just social alternatives.

How, and by which structures of thought, do people shape –  and cope with –  their lives, individually and collectively? This question is at the centre of my work. 

In dealing and coping with disability issues, the philosophy of the body was an important source of inspiration to me; medical theory and ethics were  indispensable fields of inquiry, as required by the nature of the issues at hand. Following my own interests and biographical experiences even further, I also developed an interest in the “future of work”. In the interest of a human(e) future for those who live with and come after us, I’ve become involved in environmental debates.  In creative projects, I bring my ideas “into play” in a different manner.

On TextTräger, I publicly unravel the spectrum of the work I’ve completed so far: I present papers, texts, online projects and portfolios to invite a more general discussion. Professionally, I’ve been engaged in disability inclusion in the university context for more than 5 years now. My own research and creative projects generally unfolds apart from, and outside of, this professional work – with the exception of some shared areas concerning aspects of disability.

The particular issues a biography touches on, or has a chance to contribute  to – this pattern is probably unique and may never be taken for granted. In a situation like mine, it is even less “a matter of (normal) course” that I have had the chance to come into contact with a multitude of topics and join the ongoing debates about them.

 Personal(ity) matters – Myself, my way.

In August 1983 I was born some crucial days too early, and have since spent my days in the company of various wheelchairs, arranging myself with the impacts of a severe motor disability. After primary school at Fritz-Felsenstein-Schule (Ger.), an institution for adolescents with disabilities, I took the opportunity to receive my secondary education at Rudolf-Diesel-Gymnasium Augsburg (RDG, Ger.) In 2004, I succeeded in taking the “Abitur”, the diploma qualifying for university entrance, there.

Upon graduation, I decided to take my own interests as a guide and became engaged in Cultural Studies: I commenced by “Europäische Kulturgeschichte” (European Cultural History) at Augsburg University, before the focus of the curriculum suggested a change to “European Studies” at the University of Passau (both in Bavaria). In Autumn 2008, I eventually took my Bachelor of Arts in Passau, preparing to become engaged in a prolific cultural dialogue.

Until the end of 2010, I was subsequently employed with a semi-public competence centre in Berlin, engaged in the global dissemination of concepts for sustainable energy supply / Renewables.

After this initial work experience in a political context, I decided to deepen my theoretical competences and insights, and re-entered a philosophical course of studies: first at the University of Regensburg, and later on at the very renowned (Westphälische Willhelms) University of Münster. This inspiring period of learning invited me to reflect on a wide range of experiences – my own and especially those of foreign others – in a variety of ways and in terms of multiple approaches. It enabled me to pursue my researches on a broader theoretical basis and pointed out new ways for robust and profound reflection. My “analytical gaze” has been sharpened by the unique tools philosophy has to offer.

My education at Münster gave me the opportunity to pursue interests in Practical Philosophy / Ethics, and to experience philosophy with due regard to its full range of – sometimes highly controversial – positions. The open climate at the Seminar, with its multifarious discourses and its special respect for the intellectual curiosity of young scholars, convinced me of philosophy's potential, especially with regard to social debates: It has since been important to me to actively engage with social issues, whether in concrete projects or fruitful discussions.  In Fall 2014, I very successfully completed my Master of Arts degree in Philosophy at Münster.

Professionally Engaged: Involved in Inclusion

After completing my own studies, I – somewhat unexpectedly –  became  an official player in the field of disability issues and university policies, and have since been professionally active to facilitate “inclusion” in two different ways: First, in 2015-2016, I fostered activities for an increased participation  of people with disabilities at the University of Kassel, where I coordinated the Services for Disabled Students (Ger.). I continued this line of work in April 2017, when I became a member of the Equal Opportunities Office at Goethe University Frankfurt to develop measures increasing social inclusion and participation in academic life for disabled people. In August 2021, I was offered the position of Policy Officer for Inclusion with the Representative for Inclusion at this university and have since continued to implement the inclusive efforts we suggested and drafted for Goethe university’s community. Meanwhile, in Spring 2020, I returned to my home-town of Augsburg.  

What’s more…

As if to keep my inner balance, I deliberately use the second halves of my working days, and whatever time I’ve got to  to spare, to pursue my personal projects, reflections and experiments. To supplement my heavily text-based work, I've begun to venture into digital arts, playing with the versatility of photographs and the inner images they give us. I take this to be a playful way of expression, using an intuitive approach: I do not set out to realise any specific conceptual/ artistic ambitions.  
Nevertheless, I insist on and enjoy my “peace and quiet“. On a fine day, you are likely to meet me in a park or a museum. I also travel quite a great deal around Germany and miss the Mediterranean sun while at home.

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Last substantive revision: 8/2021
For recent details and additions, please see the original version in German