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Annual Conference 2015

15.Okt 2015

More than 150 scholars from various disciplines participated in the seventh Annual Conference "Scales of Knowledge: Zooming In and Zooming Out” from October 7 - 9. The event was organised by Research Area C "Knowledge Systems".

The conference was opened with a  keynote lecture by the Anthropologist Prof. George Marcus (University of California, Irvine) on “‘Scale’ As a Problem of Contemporary Ethnographic Practice”. His talk was framed by a musical performance by the Taiwanese music ensemble 3peoplemusic. First, the Cluster's Acting Director Prof. Axel Michaels officially opened the annual conference and welcomed the audience. Prof. Barbara Mittler then introduced the music ensemble, that gave a prelude and a postlude to the lecture. After the first musical performance, conference organiser Prof. William Sax introduced the conference theme and keynote speaker George Marcus, to whom he handed over. The opening ceremony concluded with music from 3peoplemusic, a group of three young musicians from Taiwan, Kuo Min-Chin, Pan I-Tung and Jen Chung, and joined by Wang Ying-Chieh and Liao Shih-Yun. They introduced traditional and experimental compositions and scales for Chinese string and wind instruments.

The panel programme on Thursday and Friday at the Karl Jaspers Centre featured four morning panels and parallel afternoon panels. The scholars discussed topics such as “National, Local and Global Scales in the Study of Modern East Asia”, “‘Global’ vs. ‘Local’ Scales: A Misleading Distinction?”, “Scales of Environmental Knowledge I: Technologies, Representations and Power” and “Scales of Environmental Knowledge II: Waterscapes and their Boundaries”.

The lectures examined how, on the one hand, different research objects require different scales of investigation, and on the other, how the various scales of human activity produce disparate effects. In case studies from a variety of fields, ranging from the political landscape of Central Asia to literary strategies of focalization or history of science and observation, the presentations explored various notions of "scales".

The seventh Annual Conference of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”/Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies took place from October 7 - 9, 2015, at Heidelberg University. It was organised by Prof. Dr. William Sax, Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz, and Shupin Lang on behalf of Research Area C "Knowledge Systems". This research area is interested in multiple forms of knowledge production. Nearly all of the projects are concerned with the relationship between knowledge and practice, and many of them make overt reference to recent studies on science and technology as well as on historical epistemology.

Further Links

Conference Programme
Photo Gallery
Press Release
Research Area C


  • Group of participants

  • Keynote speaker Prof. Marcus

  • Chinese music concert

  • Panel sessions

  • Forum discussions

  • Remarks from the audience