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Annual Conference 2011

07.Okt 2011

Scholars from the Cluster and around the globe attended the Cluster’s Annual Conference 2011. From October 5 to 7, they discussed the theme “Frontiers of Knowledge: Health, Environment and the History of Science”.

The conference was opened on Wednesday evening with a keynote lecture by Prof. Kaushik Sunder Rajan (Chicago) on "Property, Rights, and the Constitution of Contemporary Indian Biomedicine". Referring to the exemplary case of a patent on the anti-cancer drug Gleevec, he traced how intellectual property regimes drive the re-institutionalisation of pharmaceutical development in India. Prof. Rajan is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, USA.

Another keynote lecture was given on Thursday evening by Prof. Janet Hunter (London) on “Market Operation after the Great Kantō Earthquake of September 1923". Focusing on the great earthquake of 1923 in Tokyo and Yokohama, she examined how markets function in the immediate aftermath of major disasters. She commented on the ways in which producers, traders and consumers responded to the sudden collapse of infrastructure and altered patterns of demand and supply. Prof. Hunter is Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom.

Furthermore, the programme included four major podium discussions. The topics ranged from “Ancient Medicine” (Chair: Prof. Joachim Friedrich Quack), “Circulation and Changing of Conceptions of Knowledge” (Dr. Dominic Steavu), “Seascapes and Shipping” (Prof. Harald Fuess), to “Travelling Technologies, Tracing Transculturality: Paradigm Shifts in Science, Medicine and Society” (Prof. William Sax). The list of speakers included Prof. Friedhelm Hoffman (Munich), Prof. Ann Ellis Hanson (Yale), Prof. Vivian Nutton (London), Asst. Prof. Marta Hanson (Baltimore), Prof. Dhruv Raina (Delhi), Prof. Joachim Kurtz (Heidelberg), Martin Dusinberre (Newcastle/Heidelberg), PD Dr. Roland Wenzlhuemer (Heidelberg), Prof. Rolf Wippich (Tokyo/Lucerne), Dr. Aditya Bharadwaj (Edinburgh) and Sandra Bärnreuther (Heidelberg).

During the afternoons, nine panel sessions questioned how we have conceived and are conceiving knowledge in the past and present. The largest panel session was organised by Prof. Barbara Mittler on the topic “Between Beauty and Health: Visual Itineraries of Changing Bodies in China’s Transcultural Mediascapes (1900s-2000s)”. It offered six presentations including talks by Prof. Christiane Brosius, Prof. Thomas Maissen and Prof. Katja Patzel-Mattern on the Indian and European perspective on health and beauty respectively. Further panel sessions were organised by Prof. Harald Fuess, Thomas Lennartz, Prof. Joachim Kurtz, Dr. Antje Flüchter, Prof. William Sax, Dr. Frank Grüner and Dr. Adrian Loerbroks.

In addition, a poster exhibition presented the latest developments of Heidelberg Research Architecture (HRA). Among others, the “Encyclopedia Database” and the “WSC Database” were introduced on posters conceptualised and presented by Kaja Müller-Wang. Further projects presented include "Chinese Entertainment Newspapers", "Turkologischer Anzeiger/Turkology Annual", "Chinese Women's Magazines in the Late Qing and Early Republican Period", "Chinese Comic Database", "Abou Naddara Collection", and "A new Mirror of Kāśī".

The 2011 Annual Conference “Frontiers of Knowledge: Health, Environment and the History of Science” was organised by Research Area C “Health & Environment” chaired by Prof. Harald Fuess.

For more information please visit the conference website.


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  • Opening in the Alte Aula

  • Prof. Axel Michaels

  • Prof. Kaushik Sunder Rajan

  • Audience

  • Prof. Janet Hunter

  • Panel Session on Beauty and Health

  • HRA Poster Presentation

  • Podium Discussion on Seascapes and Shipping

  • Audience