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Epilogue to HERA Single

Jan 26, 2017

The HERA project SINGLE, in which Prof. Christiane Brosius and her team represented the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, successfully ended in September 2016. It was recently featured in the brochure "Kulturen im Dialog" by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Also, the project report and “Moving the City #1”, a short film by Sheba Chhachhi, are now available on the HERA SINGLE homepage.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) published the comprehensive brochure "Kulturen im Dialog" on the second funding period of the HERA Joint Research Programme. The brochure introduces the projects HERA supported in connection with the theme “Cultural Encounters”.  One of the articles (page 36 ff.) portrays the research project that the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies (HCTS)  participated in.

"’New Asian Woman’ - Entanglements of Urban Space, Cultural Encounters and Gendered Identities in Shanghai and Delhi (SINGLE)” was a cooperation of the HCTS the with the University of Amsterdam and Birkbeck College at the University of London. The article describes the project objective as well as the accomplished results and portrays Prof. Christiane Brosius, who led “Autonomy”, one of the three subprojects. It also shows, how cooperation in international networks and with non-university partners opens up new possibilities for current and future research. HERA Single cooperated with the Fei Contemporary Art Foundation (Shanghai), the Goethe Institute (New Delhi) and The National Museum of World Cultures / The Research Center for Material Culture (Amsterdam and Leiden).

The researchers within HERA Single published their final report on their homepage, evaluating the main research objectives and their development. In this context, the report documents the understanding of the impact of cultural encounters in transforming gendered identities and social relations in Shanghai and Delhi. It examines change through a transcultural framework that is site specific and relational. Furthermore, it extends scholarship in comparative urban theory through interdisciplinary, ethnographic and multi-sited research. Finally, it explores the role of transcultural arts practices and digital humanities in analysing cultural encounters.

Also, the short film “Moving the City #1” by Delhi-based artist Sheba Chhachhi was uploaded to the homepage and is now available to the public for the first time since it’s premiere at the last HERA Single workshop in September 2016. The film portrays the negotiation of the body and subjectivity by single women in Delhi who traverse the city, crossing borders of class, caste and neighborhood. In this context, the city provides contradictory cultural images and is led by market driven ‘consumer feminism’. The film examines, how the gendered nature of physical space based on the demarcation between private and public space, seeks to regulate women’s movements in urban space. Sheba Chhachhi is an associate of the HERA SINGLE project. She participated and contributed to all public conferences organised by the SINGLE Team.

SINGLE analysed the new cultural geographies of gendered urban space in Delhi and Shanghai, focusing on ‘single’ women across the life-course. The context of neo-liberal urbanisation in India and China is enabling the formation of new biographies and spaces for women. Single women are increasingly visible in public, be it through media representations or everyday practices and mobilities.

The HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) Joint Research Programme is a partnership between 21 Humanities Research Councils and the European Science Foundation (ESF). The Programme supports innovative collaborations between universities and research centres all across Europe.


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