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Conference on the Dimensions of Transcultural Statehood

11. Mai. 2012

The history of the state and the process of state-building were the topics of an international conference at the Karl Jaspers Centre from May 10 to 12, 2012. The conference "Entanglement of Histories, Circulation of Knowledge, and Transfer of Technologies: Dimensions of Transcultural Statehood? (1500 – 1900)" was organised by project A9 "Cultural Transfer".

Scholars from around the world and various fields of research discussed different perceptions and types of transculturality. In particular, they focused on four aspects of state and governance: law, military, diplomacy, and concepts. They analysed state-building and state itself as processes of negotiation and appropriation from below. By setting those processes in an intercultural context, they expected the resultant institutions and practices to be transcultural.

Among other speakers, Philip Stern (Duke University, USA) spoke about "The Company-State: Institutions, Ideologies, and Practices", Ines Eben von Racknitz (University of Nanjing, China) focused on the diplomatic negotiations between the Qing court and Western diplomats during the China War of 1860, Michael Axworthy analysed Nader Shah, the ruler of Persia between 1736 and 1747 and conqueror of the territory of the former Safavid Empire, and Christina Brauner (University of Münster) examined the West African Kingdom of Dahomy to trace the diplomatic relations between Europeans and Africans during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The Cluster members Gauri Parasher and Rudolph Ng were also among the speakers: Parasher discussed the practical evolution of Indo-French law during the 18th century, and Ng assessed early Sino-Spanish diplomatic encounters in the 19th century.

The conference was organised by Dr. Antje Flüchter, Rudolph Ng, Barend Noordam, and Gauri Parasher. All of them are members of research project A9 “Cultural Transfer”, which is coordinated by Dr. Antje Flüchter. The conference took place at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies in Heidelberg from May 10 to 12, 2012.

Visit the conference website for further information


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  • Group photo

    Group photo

  • Key Visual of the Conference

    Key Visual of the Conference