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New Issue of the E-Journal "Transcultural Studies"

23. Apr. 2018

The latest issue of the Cluster's E-Journal "Transcultural Studies" continues the exploration of novel interdisciplinary formats. It features four essays, which focus on local activity as well as on complex networks and linkages between states as inextricably linked to transcultural exchanges.

The first and second article move from the exploration of urban art to the transcultural histories of politics and law. Two studies focus on an aspect of the early East Asian treaty port system that has attracted little attention so far: the firms and places at the margins that failed in their efforts to exploit the new options.


  • Fiona Siegenthaler: “To Embrace or to Contest Urban Regeneration? Ambiguities of Artistic and Social Practice in Contemporary Johannesburg.”
    Fiona Siegenthaler’s article studies interventionist art at urban sites in the heart of post-apartheid Johannesburg. The author examines the role of artists as agents in the public spaces of a transforming city, as they resist, contest, or end up complicit in its gentrification. Siegenthaler’s study builds on a distinction that separates the art she examines from that which circulates globally under the label “African contemporary art.”
  • Egas Moniz Bandeira: “China and the Political Upheavals in Russia, the Ottoman Empire, and Persia: Non-Western Influences on Constitutional Thinking in Late Imperial China, 1893-1911.”
    In the first decade of the twentieth century, Russia, Persia, and the Ottoman and Qing Empires all drafted constitutional documents within a span of five years. Moniz Bandeira reconstructs this pivotal moment in the global history of constitutional thinking. Focusing on the drafts of the Qing constitution, the author draws attention to the interconnected nature of the global wave of constitutional movements and challenges the conventional assumption of an exclusively Western origin of the modern world order.
  • Takahiro Yamamoto: “Privilege and Competition: Tashiroya in the East Asian Treaty Ports, 1860–1895.”
    In his paper, Takahiro Yamamoto traces some of the transcultural flows of people, information, and materials that ran through the network of East Asian ports in the late nineteenth century. He presents a case study of a family of porcelain producers and wholesalers from Arita and their company, Tashiroya. The study provides insights into the efforts of the company to establish itself in Japanese and Chinese treaty ports and do global business.
  • Steven Ivings: “Trade and Conflict at the Japanese Frontier: Hakodate as a Treaty Port, 1854–1884.”
    Steven Ivings describes Hakodate, a fishing village in Japan’s far north, which had been made a treaty port because of its suitable natural harbor and had even been the capital of a short-lived “Ezo Republic.” He shows how it never attracted the local and international entrepreneurial talent that made places like Shanghai or Yokohama into such regional and global hubs of trade, finance, and media, but drew only rough whaling crews and a few frustrated consuls.

Transcultural Studies is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal committed to promoting research on transculturality. Launched in 2010, it is published by the Cluster of Excellence, "Asia and Europe in a Global Context: The Dynamics of Transculturality" at the Heidelberg University and hosted by heiUP.

You will find the current issue here.


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  • Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit Station at Carlton Center, Johannesburg CBD, designed by Hannelie Coetzee. © Fiona Siegenthaler. February 18, 2011.

  • Map of Hakodate ca. 1810 (artist unknown). © Hakodate City Library, Hakodate.