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Bridge Professors

The directorate of the HCTS includes two bridge professors from other institutes of Heidelberg University. On of these bridge professors has a focus in research and teaching on regions outside Asia. Currently the two bridge professors are Nikolas Jaspert and Barbara Mittler.

Nikolas Jaspert

The Mediterranean and its adjacent seas have been areas of exchange in entanglements for many centuries. This historical region – particularly the Levant, the central and western Mediterranean – is Nikolas Jaspert’s main geographical field of research. He was trained as a historian of medieval Europe in Berlin and Madrid, but has more recently expanded his interests to maritime connectivity, Christian- Muslim relations and other forms of interaction during the medieval millennium (500 to 1500 ce). Building on long-standing interests in the history of Christian religion and piety, he has developed strands of research in the fields of interreligious violence, urban and social history as well as spatial material studies, all of which hold great potential for transcultural studies.

Read more about Nikolas Jaspert on his website at the Historical Institute.

Barbara Mittler

China’s cultural history is decisively determined by the dialogue with the Other. Our Bridge-Professorship in Cultural Studies examines the manifold facets of this dialogue: multi-perspectival and multi-medial approaches are used to question seemingly well-established assumptions about the course of Chinese history: approaches from oral history, close and conjunctive as well as distant readings of image, text and music, and perspectives from digital humanities and, last but not least, a multi-disciplinary dialogue with scholars specializing in regions other than China are at the centre of the activities this bridge professorship conducts at the Institute for Sinology and the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies. We study the functions of cultural production in daily (historical) experience and its (affective) power of persuasion and persistence in cultural memory: from classical music to the print and press landscape of Shanghai Modernism, to propaganda art, from the three-letter classic to cannibalism as a topos in Chinese literature to the production of global heroes such as Gandhi and Mao. A broad spectrum of sources are analyzed by members of the team and a special concern is the promotion of studying not just mainland China’s but also Taiwan's past and present.

Read more about Barbara Mittler on her website at the Institute of Chinese Studies.