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Thursday, 20 November 2014, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Benjamin Zachariah (Heidelberg): And Now For Something Completely Transcultural. The Screening of Nazi and Anti-Nazi Films in India During the Early Years of the Third Reich

Chair: Roland Wenzlhuemer (Heidelberg)

Imperial rule in India was nothing if not culturally sensitive, looking after the potential cultural sensibilities of Indian audiences in matters of the consumption of cultural products. With this in mind, the India Office took upon itself the task of liaising with the Government of India and the British Board of Film Censorship to ensure that anything which might offend the subjects of the Empire in India, British or Indian, be kept from their sensitive spirits in their own interests. Of particular concern was the Hollywood motion picture industry, whose interest in a good yarn could not be curtailed by a sense of what the India Office considered suitable history and/or suitable entertainment which did not offend. The principle of not offending sensibilities, however, ran into difficulties as newer interest groups, whose cultural sensibilities were not that easy to fathom or guage, claimed inclusion within the protective umbrella of British censorship. This talk examines the fate of imperial cinema censorship when claims were made upon it by new entrants in a very difficult transcultural encounter: the rise of Nazism, with supporters and opponents across the world, had to be negotiated in terms of (un)offended sentiments and the screening of films in India. The trouble with finding a transculturally valid set of principles that functioned without a reductive idea of culture was as tricky then as it is now – and it was then performed without a concept of transculturality.

Thursday, 22 January 2015, 4-6 pm

Shigehisa Kuriyama (Harvard): The Travel of Anxieties. Rethinking the Impact of Western Medicine on Japanese Conceptions of the Body

Chair: Joachim Kurtz (Heidelberg)

Historians of early modern Japan have long cited the appearance of the Kaitai shinsho (1774), a translation of a European anatomical text, as a critical turning point in Japanese studies of Western languages and science. But the importance of this text in the broad history of cultural transfer has, I argue, long distorted interpretations of Japanese medical history. It has greatly exaggerated, on the one hand, the impact of Western anatomy, and has completely hidden, on the other, a far deeper transformation. For Japanese medicine before the end of the nineteenth century, the most significant change inspired by the encounter with Europe lay not, in fact, in altered notions of bodily structure, but rather in new fears of vulnerability.I propose, then, to sketch a radically different account of how conceptions of the body in Japan were affected by the West. But through this specific case study I hope, too, to suggest how studies of global science may need to look beyond just the circulation of ideas and practices, and consider as well the travel of anxieties.



General Information

Karl Jaspers Centre
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
Room 212
69115 Heidelberg

The Jour Fixe is organised by the four Research Areas of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at Heidelberg University.


Poster Winter JF I

Poster Winter JF II