Newsletter Winter 2016


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NEWSLETTER WINTER 2016 Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Editorial Dear colleagues and friends, it has become a tradition to open the year’s second newsletter with a short review of our Annual Conference and I am very happy to do so, as this year’s Annual Conference was really quite special: Monica Juneja took the Forum Transregionale Studien, the Max Weber Stiftung and the German Archaeological Institute on board to make it an unforgettable event with more than 200 participants! Thanks again to Monica – and we are looking forward to the followup roundtable in Berlin next spring ! Prof. Barbara Mittler Acting Director What else is there to tell? For more than a year now, we have been sounding out ideas for a new Cluster application. Finally, a few weeks ago, the call for applications in the new “Excellence Strategy” was issued and we received the internal “Go” from the University. We have started regular reading groups and will be writing and re-writing our draft application over the next few weeks. The deadline for submission to the DFG is in early April of 2017. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, and hope that our efforts will not be in vain. If we are lucky, we will be asked to hand in a full application next fall! We relaunched the publications section of our homepage. This will help us to present some of the important and interesting results of our work at the Cluster and the HCTS. Furthermore, our MATS has received its accreditation from the University and we welcomed a large crowd of international students and the next generation of GPTS-students in October. Last but not least, CATS is - visibly and audibly - taking shape: the foundation stone will be laid on February 17. Even though, from now on, our thoughts and eyes will, for the most part, be directed to the future, this newsletter also allows us to look back: it is evidence that you all, our Cluster members, are dedicated and engaged in your research and we are very grateful for the efforts and energy you put into them. I am delighted, therefore, to present to you some glimpses of your activities. Have a pleasant read and enjoy the new semester! Warm regards, Prof. Barbara Mittler Acting Director Oliver Lamers Scientific Project Manager Content Annual Conference Conference Report Key Note Adresses News New Projects New Databases People Farewell Axel Michaels Awards and Appoinments New Positions Cinema Travellers Talks & Lectures Publications New Publications New Articles New Issue of E-Journal New Open Access Book Series Events Workshops & Conferences Jour Fixe HCTS Lecture Next Issue Spring 2017 Contact Press Office Anna Echtenacher Phone: +49-6221-54-4353 Fax: +49-6221-54-4012 E-Mail: press@asia-europe. Web:


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” ANNUAL CONFERENCE Annual Conference 2016 “Making, Sustaining, Breaking – The Politics of Heritage and Culture” CONFERENCE IMPRESSIONS Opening ceremony The conference members infront of the Karl Jaspers Center for Transcultural Studies This year’s Annual Conference was a collaborative enterprise of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”, the Forum Transregionale Studien, the Max Weber Foundation and the German Archaeological Institute. The collaboration led to an inspiring conference with a wide range of international participants and speakers. The conference, entitled “Making, Sustaining, Breaking – The Politics of Heritage and Culture” brought together about 220 researchers from many different disciplines, among them archaeology, art history, philosophy, musicology or anthropology. Together, the researchers explored the nature of the complex interactions impacting on cultural heritage in political and societal discourse: What does cultural heritage mean today? How is it identified, who preserves it – and what forces work to destroy it? The conference was hosted in Heidelberg at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Transcultural Studies from October 12-14, 2016. It opened with a keynote lecture by Professor Nayanjot Lahiri from Ashoka University in Delhi, which took place at the Great Hall of the Old University on October 12. The second keynote was given by Sinan Antoon from New York University. Four plenary panels in the mornings were devoted to some of the broader themes of the conference such as heritage dynamics, capacity building, politics of archeology in times of crisis or architectural case studies. Ten parallel afternoon panels in different formats were designed to foster an intensive dialogic exchange between scholars across disciplines in the field of heritage. A concluding discussion took place in the plenum in the afternoon of October 14, recapitulating some of the most interesting findings from the conference. At the Cluster, the conference was organised by Prof. Monica Juneja, Dr. Michael Falser and Dr. Philipp Stockhammer on behalf of Research Area D “Historicities and Heritage”. A follow-up event will take place in Berlin on April 10th. Newsletter Autumn 2016 Birgit Meyer on Heritage Dynamics Panel chaired by Joseph Maran Conference Registration Panel on Archeology at IfG 045 Panel chaired by Philipp Stockhammer 2


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” ANNUAL CONFERENCE Annual Conference 2016 “Making, Sustaining, Breaking – The Politics of Heritage and Culture” Keynote Address by Nayanjot Lahiri Prof. Nayanjot Lahiri from Ashoka University in Delhi opened the Cluster’s Annual Conference with a keynote address on the influence of politics on the archaeological heritage of India and its people in the post-independence era, from 1947 till the present. In her talk “Heritage at the Intersection of Politics and People – India’s Archaeological Heritage” she highlighted the visibility of politics in relation to monuments, museum collections and research in the immediate aftermath of independence, imparting a sense of the fate of monuments since then. She expained, how sites are protected, who protects them and why many of them come under pressure or get destroyed. Lahiri also focused on the nature of engagement of India’s political leadership, the dangers posed by smuggling antiquities and the pressures emanating from large development projects and legal interventions. CONFERENCE IMPRESSIONS Music Panel “Ex Oriente Lux” George Khalil on Sinann Antoon Nayanjot Lahiri at the opening of the Annual Conference at the Alte Aula of Heidelberg University Keynote Address by Sinan Antoon Prof. Sinan Antoon from New York University gave the second keynote lecture on Thursday evening, entitled “The Inheritance of Loss: Collective Memory, Collateral Damage, and the Ruins of Ruins”. His keynote dealt with the destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria and the challenges of representing “the ruins of ruins” as faced by literary and artistic imaginations. He explored questions such as “What is at stake in these attempts at discursive preservation?”, “What kinds of ideological traps lie in wait for those engaging in them?”, “How is loss emplotted and to what end?”. Antoon, however, also talked about the countless lives and spaces that proxy wars have claimed in these countries and stated that destruction of cultural heritage through these wars, even though dramatic, can never outshine the humanitarian disaster and suffering. He underlined his arguments by quoting literature and poetry. Conference Impression Panel chaired by Monica Juneja Axel Michales on Nepal Sinan Antoon during his Keynote Address at the Karl Jaspers Center Newsletter Autumn 2016 Conference Impression 3


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” NEWS Exchange Programme “New Directions in Active Ageing” Group of seniors doing Yoga in a park in Delhi A new cooperation programme between the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) and the South Asia Institute (SAI) at Heidelberg University with Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, aims at enhancing “active ageing” and “age-friendly cultures” in both India and Europe through various forms of knowledge exchange. Profs. Christiane Brosius (HCTS), William Sax (SAI) and Andreas Kruse (Gerontology) are representatives of the programme at HCTS and the SAI. The issue of ageing is considered one of the most fundamental problems in this century. It creates challenges for our societies and is associated with many risks and problems, but also involves new possibilities and opportunities. The exchange programme is funded in the context of the framework of Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education (IGP) by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) until June 2020. It has been established to take advantage of the possibilities mentioned above in order to develop new directions in active ageing and age-friendly culture. Various research themes will be explored within the programme frame, several of which will be facilitated through the HCTS: Environmental gerontology, migration processes and transnational care systems, media representations and the use of media for scholarly work as well as the introduction of nursing homes in India. Seniors at the “Intergenerational Walkathon” on the International Day of Older Persons Newsletter Autumn 2016 SHORT NEWS New Database “Early Chinese Periodicals Online” The database “Early Chinese Periodicals Online” (EPOC) was created by the Cluster’s Heidelberg Research Architecture, the Heidelberg Digital Humanities Unit, and Taiwan’s Academia Sinica. ECPO was developed over six years and assembles several important digital collections of the early Chinese press. It is different from other existing databases of Chinese periodicals, as it provides image scans and preserves materials often excluded in reprint, microfilm or digital editions: advertising inserts and illustrations. In addition, it offers metadata in English and Chinese, including keywords and biographical information on editors, authors and individuals. New HyperImage Project on Pilgrimage Scroll The new research project coordinated by Cluster members Jörg Gengnagel and Eric Decker aims to offer a fully annotated digital and interactive presentation of a pilgrimage scroll. “A Pilgrimage Scroll from Rajasthan: Visual Journeys and Confluences of Devotion at the three Cities of Gayā, Kāśī and Prayāg” is a sub project of MC9.2 “Changing Sacred Waterscapes” and was launched this year at the Cluster. The investigated scroll is a unique representation of sacred spaces in form, style and content and dates to the beginning of the 18th century. Project on Cluster homepage 4


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” NEWS HERA Funding for Joachim Kurtz Prof. Joachim Kurtz will lead the joint research project “East Asian Uses of the European Past: Tracing Braided Chronotypes”, which is funded through HERA with 1.2 million Euros. It is a collaborative project by researchers at the Universities of Heidelberg, Zurich, Madrid and the London School of Economics. Kurtz’s HERA project argues that Europe’s past is not its exclusive property, since the pasts constructed through emblematic historical moments such as the fall of the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, the Enlightenment, or the Holocaust were shaped in global circulations. The significance these moments acquired in different times and localities must be understood as the result of situated co-productions, transgressing continental boundaries and affecting perceptions of historical time both in the non-European world and in Europe itself. The project will substantiate this hypothesis with a series of case studies, analysing East Asian uses of “European” pasts from the onset of intensified contact around 1600 to the present. HERA – Humanities in the European Research Area - is a partnership between 24 Humanities Research Councils across Europe and the European Commission. Its aim is to firmly establish the Humanities in the European Research Area and in the European Commission Framework Programme. Japanese translation of a European history textbook in Dutch from a Japanese library catalogue Courtesy of the Matsura Historical Museum; photo © David Mervart Seminar on Chinese Silent Films Prof. Paul Pickowicz, Humboldt Prize Winner and guest professor at the Institute of Chinese Studies and the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS), offered a seminar on Chinese silent cinema during the last summer semester for Bachelor and Master students. In class, he showed films from Shanghai in the 1920s and 1930s, which served as a window to the society in the past and tackled issues relating to social, political, economic and cultural aspects of the time; the students watched and discussed 15 silent films. These films dealt with gender relations, marriage, class differences and China’s encounter with foreign cultures. Besides engaging in theoretical discussion on the films, three student groups produced their own twenty-minute films in black and white. These films were required to reflect the themes and aesthetics of silent films of the era and were presented and jugded at the “Golden Chopsticks Film Gala” on July 16 at the DAI Heidelberg Cultural Center. Newsletter Autumn 2016 SHORT NEWS Lecture Series at the Cluster In this winter semester, the Cluster “Asia and Europe” is co-organising two lecture series. The public lecture series “Environmental Humanities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives” is jointly organised by the Cluster, the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) and the research initiative “Transcultural Studies” (Transkuturelle Studien). In cooperation with the History Department, the Cluster also organises a lecture series called “Global History Lecture Series” (Vortragsreihe zur Globalgeschichte). These lecture series take place at the Karl Jaspers Center on Wednesdays and the History Department on Thursdays respectively. Partnership between HCTS and Volkswagen Foundation Starting this year, the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) has become a partner institution for a fellowship programme of the renowned Volkswagen Foundation. The “Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities at Universities and Research Institutes in Germany and the USA” enables postdoctoral fellows to conduct studies at universities and research institutes in Germany, such as the HCTS, and the U.S. for up to 18 months. The Volkswagen Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization and has been funding research projects in all disciplines since 1962. 5


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” PEOPLE Farewell lecture by Axel Michaels Axel Michales during his farewell lecture at the Alte Aula of Heidelberg University On Wednesday, July 20, Prof. Axel Michaels, Director at the Cluster “Asia and Europe”, gave his farewell lecture as Professor at the Department of Cultural and Religious History of South Asia. The lecture “Nepal in der Welt” (Nepal in the World) took place at the Alte Aula of Heidelberg University. It focused on the history of Nepal as an example for multifaceted cultural and religious encounters. The ceremony was opened with a laudation by the President of Heidelberg University, Prof. Bernhard Eitel, and the Executive Director of the South Asia Institute (SAI), Prof. Stefan Klonner. They gave an overview over Axel Michaels’ career and achievements for the university, the SAI and, in particular, Nepal. The lecture by Axel Michaels covered several topics: “Huge and Small: Nepal between India and China”, “War or Peace: The Gorkha-Regiments”, “Inside and Outside: Nepal’s Migrant Workers in the Gulf Region”, “Shangrila or Failed State: The Image of Nepal”, “Uphill-Downhill-Uphill: Nepal’s Future”, and “Farewell Glances from the Roof of the World”. Axel Michaels has been a member of the directorate of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe” since 2007 and Acting Director of the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) since its foundation in 2013. He also directs the research unit “Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Premodern Nepal” at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and continues his research at the Cluster “Asia and Europe” and the SAI as a Senior Professor. Lena Henningsen Receives Leopoldina Award JunProf. Lena Henningsen, Associate member of the Cluster “Asia and Europe”, received the Leopoldina Early Career Award 2016 based on her outstanding research on present-day Chinese culture. The award ceremony took place in Halle (Saale) at the Leopoldina Annual Assembly on Friday, September 23, 2016. The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina chose her for her superoir research in contemporary Chinese culture as well as for her commitment to intercultural dialogue and to promoting a differentiated image of China. The Leopoldina Early Career Award honors junior scientists who have made excellent contributions in a field represented by the Leopoldina. Newsletter Autumn 2016 Member Activites Prof. Barbara Mittler gave a talk on “Ex Oriente Lux? China und die Macht der Musik – von Yao bis Mao”. The event took place in October as part of the “Wednesday Lectures” at Goethe University Frankfurt. Prof. Harald Fuess served as Chair of the Working Group III “Humanities and Social Sciences” at the 5th Japanese-German University Presidents’ Conference “Fostering Student Mobility to shape tomorrow’s Researchers and Innovators”, which took place in September at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Prof. Barbara Mittler and Prof. Thomas Maissen, former Co-Director of the Cluster, took part in a discussion focusing on the role of the humanities in the fields of politics, art and media as part of the series “Max meets Lisa”, which is jointly produced by the Max Weber Foundation and the Gerda Henkel Foundation. In September, Prof. Monica Juneja delivered the first keynote address at the Summer School of the Walter Benjamin Kolleg (University of Bern) on “Border Regimes – Confrontations, Configurations and Transpositions” in Kandersteg. Maria Roemer chaired the panel “Emotion Metaphors and Literary Text” at the 21st World Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association in July at the University of Vienna. 6


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” PEOPLE Humboldt Foundation awarded Sumathi Ramaswamy On September 8, Prof. Sumathi Ramaswamy (Duke University) received the prestigious Anneliese Maier Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation. With the prize money of 250.000 €, she will pursue research at her host institution, the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS), over the course of five years. Ramaswamy is a member of the Cluster’s Advisory Board and has been involved in various research projects at the Cluster already. She was invited by Profs. Christiane Brosius (Visual and Media Anthropology), Monica Juneja (Global Art History) and Barbara Mittler (Chinese Studies). Her projects will foster collaborations with students as well as senior scholars with the ultimate aim to promote critical Asian Studies in Germany. The Anneliese Maier Research Award is a collaboration award to further the internationalisation of the humanities and social sciences in Germany. From left to right: Prof. Christiane Brosius, Prof. Sumathi Ramaswamy, Johanna Wanka and Prof. Helmut Schwarz at the award ceremony Research Prize for Daniel König Prof. Daniel König, Start-Up Professor in Transcultural Studies, received the “Prize of the Humboldt University for outstanding performance in Medieval History” by the Michael-und-Claudia-Borgolte Foundation. The awarding ceremony took place in Berlin on July 12. The prize was awarded for König’s excellent achievements as manifest in his work “Arabic-Islamic Views of the Latin West. Tracing the Emergence of Medieval Europe”. The foundation only bestows the prize after in-depth assessment of the work in question by a commitee of experts in medieval studies. “The Cinema Travellers” Wins Four Awards “The Cinema Travellers”, a documentary by the Cluster’s former shortterm fellows Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya, has won four awards in 2016. In April, the film won Special Jury Mention for L’Oeil d’or at the Cannes Film Festival. This price was succeeded by the Grand Jury Award at the New Hampshire Film Festival, which took place from October 13 to 16. On October 27, at this year’s Mumbai Film Festival, the documentary took home two more awards: Special Jury Award in the category India Gold and the Young Critics Choice Award. The film depicts how showmen riding cinema lorries have brought the wonder of the movies to faraway villages in India once every year. Seven decades on, as their cinema projectors crumble and film reels become scarce, their patrons are lured by slick digital technology. Newsletter Autumn 2016 Member Activites In the course of the Anneliese Maier Research award ceremony, Prof. Sumathi Ramaswamy, Prof. Barbara Mittler and Prof. Christiane Brosius organised and chaired two panels with several postdoc and junior researchers, four of them from Heidelberg. Ping-Heng Chen spoke on “Aesthetics and Migration” on the panel “Visual Culture: Aesthetics on the Move”; Laila Borrie, Ann Katrin Yan-Dethlefsen and Emily Graf participated in the panel “Visual Culture: Heroes”. Prof. Ramaswamy, furthermore, gave a speech on “Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of Disobedience”. Prof. Jörg Gengnagel attended the 24th European Conference on South Asian Studies in July at the University of Warsaw. He participated in the panel “Spatial and Visual Dimensions of Pilgrimage in South Asia“. Prof. Monica Juneja gave the keynote lecture at the international conference “Global Art Challenges: Towards an Ecology of Knowledges” at the University of Barcelona on “The Ethnic and the Global. Tangled Trajectories of the ‘Primitive’ in Modern and Contemporary Art” in April. Dr. Davide Torri was invited to the workshop “Religious Authority beyond the Nation”. It took place at the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester in April to discuss issues of religious authority from anthropological perspectives. 7


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” PEOPLE Philippika Prize for Svenja Nagel Svenja Nagel, Associate Member of the Cluster, received the Philippika Prize by publishing house Harrassowitz for her outstanding Ph.D. thesis on the expansion of the cult of Isis in the Roman Empire. The awarding ceremony was held on July 8 at Heidelberg University. The prize-winning thesis is entitled “The Expansion of the Cult of Isis in the Roman Empire: Tradition and Transformation on the Way from Egypt to Rome. An Analysis of the Development of the Cult of Isis in Graeco-Roman Egypt and its Adaptation in the Western Mediterranean”. In her dissertation, Svenja Nagel analysed the transfer, adaptation and transformation of the Egyptian goddess Isis and her cult on the way from East to West. The award is given in recognition of outstanding dissertations with a multidisciplinary research approach in the field of classical studies. Svenja Nagel at the Awad Ceremony Appointments & New Positions Prof. Harald Fuess was appointed Top Global Program Professor at Kyoto University under the “Kyoto University Top Global Program”. This bridge professorship includes membership in the scientific committee of the newlyestablished module on “Asian and Transcultural Studies.” Professor Fuess will use this new role to further promote academic exchange between the universities of Heidelberg and Kyoto. Prof. Klaus Oschema was invited to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton as a fellow for the academic year 2016/2017. There, he will conduct research on the role of late medieval astrologers and their roles as experts and “scientific political advisers”. PD Dr. Michael Falser served as Visiting Researcher at the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome. During his stay from May to July 2016 he pursued research on the nomination dossier of the Archaeological Park of Angkor to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Dr. Andrew Flachs joined the Cluster as a Volkswagen postdoctoral fellow in September. His research interests include environmental anthropology, epistemology and ethnobiology. Besides collaborating with JRG “Agrarian Alternatives”, Flachs is teaching a course this winter term on “The Political Ecology of Alternative Agriculture” in the M.A. Transcultural Studies. Newsletter Autumn 2016 AWARDS Max Stille received an EASAS Research Student Award for his paper entitled “Communities of Code-Switching Connoisseurs: Multilingualism in Islamic Sermons in Bangladesh”, which he submitted and presented at the 24th Conference on South Asian Studies in Warsaw in July. The European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS) is offering awards linked to its biennial conference to encourage young scholars working in the field of South Asian Studies. The awards were granted for the most outstanding papers by currently registered research students who presented at Warsaw. Dr. Lion König was awarded a fellowship by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to carry out postdoctoral research at Oxford University. He will be based at the Asian Studies Centre at St. Antony’s College for a period of two years and be mentored by Dr. Faisal Devji, Director of the Asian Studies Programme, to work on nation-building in South Asia. His new project looks at larger fundamentals of nation-building from a theoretical, institutional, and iconographic perspective, using India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as case studies. The dissimilar developments in the three countries will provide rich comparative insight into strategies of nation-building, while the theoretical-methodological breadth of the work, which draws on political science as well as cultural studies, contributes to the furthering of interdisciplinary approaches in the social sciences. 8


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” PUBLICATIONS Relaunch of Publications Homepage The publications homepage is now accessible directly via the start page of the Cluster, as well as the top menu. It presents itself with a revised structure that grants easy access to “Transcultural Studies - An Open Access e-Journal”, “Transcultural Research - A Springer Book Series”, and “Heidelberg Studies on Transculturality - An Open Access Book Series”. It also features a selection of 100 Cluster books published between 2012 and 2017, organized in different rubrics. An overview of these selected volumes will also be published in a printed brochure in the spring of 2017. New Open Access Book Series A new open access book series, “Heidelberg Studies in Transculturality”, was launched in May. The series is produced through the collaborative efforts of the editorial board, headed by Prof. Axel Michaels, the Cluster’s publications office and Heidelberg University Publishing (heiUP), which is an open access publisher of high-quality, peer-reviewed academic works. “Heidelberg Studies in Transculturality” is funded by a grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG). It publishes research that coincides with the Cluster’s aim of establishing a “morphology of flows and circulations” which concentrates on “exploring the specific dynamics of transcultural interactions.” The series’ first monograph is “Passing Through Shanghai: Ethnographic Insights into the Mobile Lives of Expatriate Youths” by Dr. Marie Sander. Her book examines, how children experience international mobility by focusing on a specific yet diverse group of expatriate youths in contemporary Shanghai. New Book on Architectural Heritage Conservation Prof. Niels Gutschow and Dr. Katharina Weiler published the book “Authenticity in Architectural Heritage Conservation” It is part of the Cluster’s book series “Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context”. The volume presents colonial and postcolonial discourses, opinions and experiences in the field of architectural heritage conservation and the use of site-specific practices based on representative case studies described by art historians, architects, anthropologists and conservationists from Germany, Nepal, India, China, and Japan. With more than 180 illustrations and a collection of terminologies in various languages, these cross-cultural investigations document the processual re-configuration of the notion of authenticity. The publication is part of the Cluster’s book series “Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context”. The series presents peer-reviewed books by members of the Cluster as well as scholars from both historical and empirical disciplines who are working on new emerging fields that cross existing disciplinary boundaries. The series examines processes of cultural exchange in an interdisciplinary way, eschewing strictly geographical definitions of “Asia” or “Europe”, stimulating fruitful theoretical debates on the cultural exchange between Asia and Europe from the Bronze Age to the present. Newsletter Autumn 2016 NEW E-JOURNAL ISSUE A new issue of the E-Journal “Transcultural Studies” is available online. The present issue offers several new thematic and methodological foci. Although dealing with different places such as Berlin or the border region between India, Tibet and the eastern Himalayas, all articles deal with the dynamics of transcultural interaction at sites where local and global interests merge and collide, driven by actors from different ethnic groups, institutional backgrounds and religious as well as political traditions. Article “Art as Refuge: Jewish Publishers as Cultural Brokers in Early 1920s Russian Berlin” by Susanne Marten-Finnis. Themed Section The Themed Section on “Global Encounters, Local Places. Connected Histories of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and the Himalayas” features contributions by Jayeeta Sharma, Emma Martin, Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia and an introducation by Tina Harris, Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa, Jayeeta Sharma and Markus Viehbeck. “Transcultural Studies” is edited by Profs. Monica Juneja, Joachim Kurtz, Rudolf G. Wagner and Dr. Andrea Hacker. It is accessible at 9


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” PUBLICATIONS Book on Egyptomania in Early Modern Europe Dr. Friederike Werner published the volume “Ägyptomanie in Preußen – Die Tafelskulptur zur Hochzeit im Königshaus 1804” on the research results of the Cluster’s project MC 14.2 “Materialising Memories” in October at VDG – Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenschaften Weimar. Her book investigates the history and meaning of a royal table centerpiece which is kept in the Schlossmuseum Darmstadt. Based on this masterpiece, she analyses the mechanisms and ideas behind the movement of “Egyptomania” in Early Modern Europe. Book on Exhibitions of Contemporary Chinese Art Dr. Franziska Koch published her dissertation “Die ‘chinesische Avantgarde’ und das Dispositiv der Ausstellung. Konstruktionen chinesischer Gegenwartskunst im Spannungsfeld der Globalisierung”, with transcript. Her book analyses, how art from the People’s Republic of China has been significantly mediated through large-scale international exhibitions. It combines a transcultural perspective with conceptual tools from art history, media and cultural studies to query, how art works from China are constituted through the dispositif of the exhibition. Book on Sufism in South Asia Dr. Deepra Dandekar and Torsten Tschacher, Ph.D., published the book “Islam, Sufism and Everyday Politics of Belonging in South Asia”. The book was produced in the context of the research project MC2 “Sufism” and is part of the book series “Routledge Advances in South Asian Studies”, which features innovative and original research on the South Asian region as a whole or on specific countries. The book studies ideas, practices and institutions in South Asian Islam, commonly identified as ‘Sufism’, and how they relate to politics in South Asia. Book on Exchange and Consumption Newsletter Autumn 2016 Dr. Sinah Kloß published her dissertation “Fabrics of Indianness - The Exchange and Consumption of Clothing in Transnational Guyanese Hindu Communities”, with Palgrave Macmillan. In the volume, she describes how Guyanese Hindus, migrated to North America, recreate Indian ethnic identity in contemporary Guyana, examening how Hindu traditions have been transformed in this multi-religious and multi-ethnic society. Her book demonstrates that the practices of wearing and gifting clothes materialize and visualize relationships. Articles Article on Transcultural Historiography The academic journal “History and Theory”, one of the leading journals in exploring history, published an article entitled “Nepalese History in a European Experience: A Case Study in Transcultural Historiography”. It was collaboratively written by scholars mainly affiliated with the Cluster “Asia and Europe” from Heidelberg, Basel and Zurich: Axel Michaels, Manik Bajracharya, Niels Gutschow, Madeleine Herren, Bernd Schneidmüller, Gerald Schwedler and Astrid Zotter. The article is the outcome of a workshop by a group of German, Nepalese, and Swiss historians, Indologists and an architectural historian, which took place in 2013 in Nepal. It aims at developing a new approach to the understanding of South Asian historiography, especially the Nepalese chronicles from the nineteenth century. Instead of relying on history that highlights facts and events, this transcultural and multidisciplinary approach is able to overcome the common dichotomies of factuality and fictionality, history and myth, or evidence and truth. 10


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” PUBLICATIONS Book on Islam in China Ph.D. Roberta Tontini published a new book called “Muslim Sanzijing. Shifts and Continuities in the Definition of Islam in China (1710-2010)” with Brill. Her monograph traces the development of Islam and Islamic law in China. Through a comprehensive study, which includes a rigorous analysis of popular Chinese Islamic primers belonging to the Sanzijing tradition, Tontini offers insights into the little known intellectual and legal history of Islam on Chinese soil. She demonstrates its evolving quality in response to changing social norms. Book on Liberty Dr. Susan Richter, Angela Siebold and Urte Weeber published a volume titled “Was ist Freiheit? Eine historische Perspektive” (What is Liberty? A Historical Approach) with Campus Verlag Frankfurt/New York. The publication explores the concept of “liberty” and its essential role in identity formation in Germany. It discusses the wide historical range of competing interpretations of “liberty” within German history and thus sharpens the reader’s awareness for the appropriation of historical patterns of argument in the context of contemporary political debates. Book on Socialist Religion in 19th-century France The monograph “Sozialismus, Katholizismus und Okkultismus im Frankreich des 19. Jahrhunderts. Die Genealogie der Schriften von Eliphas Lévi” by Dr. Julian Strube examines socialist religion and the emergence of occultism in nineteenth century France. The book, which builds on Strube’s dissertation, was published by De Gruyter as part of the series “Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten”, edited by Jörg Rüpke and Christoph Uehlinger. It reformulates the importance of socialist trends in European religious history. Book on Ottoman and Western Satire Dr. Elif Elmas published her dissertation on Ottoman and Western caricature during the Balkan Crises in the 19th century. “Die Balkankrise von 1875 bis 1878 im Spiegel osmanischer und westlicher Karikaturen” focuses on satirical Ottoman periodicals as well the influence of the European satire magazines on them. It was published by Peter Lang International Academic Publishers in the series “Geschichte und Kultur des modernen Vorderen Orients. History of Culture of the Modern Near and Middle East” - Volume 38. Newsletter Autumn 2016 Articles Ph.D. Roberta Tontini was featured in the anthology “Islamic Thought in China” (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), edited by Jonathan Lipman. Her chapter “Tianfang Sanzijing. Changes and Exchanges in China’s Reception of Islamic Law” explores Chinese Muslim scholars’ historical commitment to the task of articulating and legitimizing their own interpretation of Islamic law. The chapter, as well as a book, were produced in the context of Project A15 “Patriotic Monotheists”, which explored Islam and Christianity in Contemporary China from a socialization perspective. MORE PUBLICATIONS Dr. Udo Simon, Associate Member and former Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cluster “Asia and Europe”, and Prof. Ute Hüsken (Oslo University, Norway) jointly edited the book “The Ambivalence of Denial - Danger and Appeal of Rituals”. The volume introduces the role of different rituals as well as their rejection, since rituals, as universal modes of human action, are always evaluated and criticized. It deals with different forms of denial and the critique of rituals; it also uses the denial of rituals to learn more about the role of rituals in their performers’ lives and the ambivalences this denial uncovers. The book was published by Harrassowitz Verlag in April 2016. It continues the research of the former Collaborative Research Center SFB 619 “Ritual Dynamics” at Heidelberg University. 11


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” EVENTS Workshop with Lung-Ying-tai Lung-Yung-tai talks about her movie at the Karl Jaspers Centre On Wednesday, July 6, the Cluster “Asia and Europe” welcomed Lung Yingtai at the Karl Jaspers Centre. She is former first Minister of Culture in Taiwan and Hung Leung Hao Ling Distinguished Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. Lung Ying-tai is one of the most important public intellectuals in the Chinese-speaking world. She is the author of more than 30 books, many of them bestsellers and she is also a respected academic. In the course of the workshop “Between Politics and Literature”, Lung Ying-tai talked about her literary work and experience to many interested students, scholars and guest auditors.The workshop was part of the regular Taiwan Lecture Series Seminar held at the Institute of Chinese Studies. It started with a screening of “Farewell 1949”, a documentary that accompanies Lung Yingtai’s book “Great River, Great Sea.” She provided comments on both film and book. Following the screening, she entered into a dialogue with the students, scholars and interested public about her literary oeuvre, the documentary, the story of her family and the underlying topic of the book - the civil war. In the third part of the workshop students presented a recitation of six chapters from Lung-Ying-tai’s book in their own English translations, which they had prepared during the seminar. Workshop in Honor of Sumathi Ramaswamy and Patrick Geary The workshop “Materials on the Move” took place on May 19, to honor Anneliese Maier Research Award Winners Prof. Sumathi Ramaswamy (2016) and Prof. Patrick Geary (2012) – both Advisory Board Members at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe”. The workshop began at the Heidelberg Academy of Science and Humanities as a cooperation of the Cluster and the Department of History at Heidelberg University. Three panels each presented three to four individual papers dealing with different aspects of “Materials on the Move”. These panels were followed by concluding remarks by Patrick Geary and Sumathi Ramaswamy. In the afternoon, the workshop moved to the Karl Jaspers Centre, where it was concluded with a keynote lecture by Sumathi Ramaswamy and Barbara Mittler on the topic: “Death Becomes Them: The Fate of the Fatherly Corpses of Gandhi and Mao”. It was held as the Cluster’s second Jour Fixe in the summer term. Funding through the Anneliese Maier Research Award enables the award winners to conduct collaborative research with specialist colleagues in Germany for a period of five years. In 2012, Patrick Geary was invited to conduct his research at the Department of History. Sumathi Ramaswamy started her research at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies in 2016. Newsletter Autumn 2016 Workshops & CONFERENCES Maritime Literary Cultures The international workshop “Maritime Literary Cultures: Reading and Writing at Sea” took place at the Karl Jaspers Centre in October. The event was organised by the Cluster’s project MC12 “Floating Spaces” and sought to bring together this interest in maritime history with the history of print culture and literary studies. Workshops on Smart Cities in India The Heidelberg Centre South Asia, branch office of the Cluster “Asia and Europe” in New Dehli, organized four Indo-German workshops on “Smart City: Infrastructure & Mobility in the 21st century”. They took place in Kolkata, Cochin, Pune and Bangalore to initiate a dialogue on Smart Cities between scholars, industry representatives and policy makers. Conference “Law, Empire and Global Intellectual History” The conference “Law, Empire and Global Intellectual History” was organized by Dr. Kerstin von Lingen, Junior Research Group Leader of Project A16 “Transcultural Justice”, and Milinda Banerjee from Presidency University Kolkata. It took place at the International Academic Forum Heidelberg from June 19 to 21 and opened with a keynote by Prof. Andrew Sartori (New York). 12


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Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” EVENTS Final Conference “Sexing the City” Completes HERA SINGLE The conference “Sexing the City” took place at the Museum Volkenkunde/Research Center for Material Culture in Leiden from September 15 to 17. It was the last conference of HERA SINGLE, a three-year, interdisciplinary research project, in which Prof. Christiane Brosius and her team represented the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies. Other participants in the project came from the University of Amsterdam, Birkbeck College (London), as well as the Fei Contemporary Art Foundation (Shanghai), the Goethe Institute (New Delhi) and the National Museum of World Cultures/Research Center for Material Culture (Amsterdam and Leiden). The conference comprised discussion, debates and three panels, a film screening and an art exhibition. Each panel was dedicated to one of the subprojects within SINGLE - “Autonomy”, “Respectability” and “Precarity” - which explored different aspects of the experiences of single women in Delhi and Shanghai. The panel “Autonomy” was chaired by Prof. Christiane Brosius; Prof. Barbara Mittler gave a speech in the panel “Respectability”. Jour Fixe on Cultural and Political History of Mirages The Cluster held its second Jour Fixe in the summer term on June 30, at 4 pm at the Karl Jaspers Centre. Prof. Christopher Pinney from UCL gave a talk on the topic “The Waterless Sea: A Cultural and Political History of Mirages”. An introduction was given by Prof. Christiane Brosius; Sheba Chhachhi, a Delhi-based artists, was the discussant. Pinney focused on fata morganas, which have always astonished travelers. Complex cultural histories long predate the first English usage of the term “mirage” in 1800, as this term had been used in Chinese and Japanse poetry before that time, but can also be found in Arab, Persian and Indian sources. Pinney’s talk focused chiefly on Eastern or “Oriental” mirages that frequently conjoin the desert, Islam and the Ottoman Empire. They had and have a negative but also enchanted connotation. Futhermore, Pinney discussed, how a recent fata morgana from 2015 could feed into modern conspiracy theories. Finally he explored the philosophical importance of mirages, which are “real” but not “true”. HCTS Lecture by Guy Stroumsa Prof. Guy Stroumsa (Jerusalem, Oxford) gave a HCTS lecture with the title “The Scriptural Galaxy of Late Antiquity”. It took place on Wednesday, May 25, at the Karl Jaspers Centre and was hosted by the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS). The lecture sought to shed light on the complex web between scriptures, oral traditions and communities of faith across political and linguistic borders. It also discussed whether we could speak of a ‘scriptural movement’ in late antiquity and dealt with the canonization process and religious memory. It also examined the relationship between scriptures and secular literature in education and discussed various forms of scriptural hermeneutics. Prof. Guy Stroumsa is Martin Buber Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Emeritus Professor of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions at the University of Oxford. Newsletter Autumn 2016 Workshops & CONFERENCES Workshop “Treaty Ports in East Asia, 1850-1910” The workshop “Treaty Ports in East Asia, 1850-1910” was organised by the Chair of Cultural Economic History at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies and headed by Prof. Harald Fuess. It took place at the Karl Jaspers Centre from June 17 to 18 and focused on treaty ports in East Asia in a time when they were a unique phenomenon of the modern imperialist world system. Japan Workshop “Religion und Kultur” The workshop “Religion und Kultur in Japan” was also organised by the Chair of Cultural Economic History at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies in cooperation with Tübingen University and took place on June 3 at the Karl Jaspers Centre. The focus was on common academic themes that enable intellectual and institutional cooperation in the fields of Japanese religion, history, literature and culture. Film on Korean Indie Rock A documentary film on Korean Indie Rock, organised by Prof. Harald Fuess and Stefan Knoob, Ph.D., was screened at the Karl Jaspers Center on October 24. Co- producer Stephen Epstein, Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, gave an introduction to the Korean independent music scene in the context of the global rise of K-pop. 13



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