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First Transcultural Studies Student Conference at HCTS

Apr 30, 2018

On April 27, 2018, the Cluster “Asia and Europe” and the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies held their first Transcultural Studies Student Conference. This inaugural conference was organized by the Cluster’s Student Association – the Fachschaft – which consists of students in the Master in Transcultural Studies at the Cluster and HCTS.

The goal of the Transcultural Studies Student Conference was to establish an annual student conference in the methodology of Transcultural Studies, in which advanced students of all fields and places can meet and engage in a discourse that enhances the collective understanding of the emerging methodological outlook. It was supported by the Studierendenrat of Heidelberg University.

The conference outlook was based on the perspective that cultures are not contained within ethnically closed, linguistically homogenous and territorially bounded spheres. Instead, they are constituted as a process - through transformations and entanglements that follow from contacts and relationships between various agents, concepts and institutions. This process is called “Transculturation”. Transcultural Studies combine methodological and theoretical approaches from a broad spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Ifty Hargil, head organizer of the conference, explains: “I think that there are very few serious international student conferences oriented for young scholars, let alone annual ones dealing with the emerging field of transcultural studies. Also, we have made it a priority to support every visiting student that is presenting at the conference. I think that in these ways we are special, and I think that the fact that we got nearly 90 applications is a good indication that there is a market for such an enterprise.“

Masters and PhD candidates handed in their applications for the panels from the fields of Political Science, History, Sociology, Anthropology, History of Art, Economy, and Culture Studies amongst others. It attracted contributors from numerous renowned international universities including Cambridge, Leiden, and Durham.

The event opened with a keynote address by Prof. Monica Juneja, Professor for Global Art History at the HCTS. The first panel after the keynote was themed “Religion and Art in Transculturation”. After a lunch break, the conference continued with three more panels on “Mobility and Placemaking”, “Knowledge in Practice” and “Identities and Narratives." The conference was closed off with a round-table session that provided the participants with space for concluding thoughts and remarks.


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  • The Panelists

  • Prof. Monica Juneja

  • Auditors

  • Concluding Round-Table