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HCTS members convene series of workshop at ICAS 11

Jul 08, 2019

HCTS members will be convening the workshop “Engaging Translations and Circulations Across Asia and Europe” at the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), which will take place in July 16-19, 2019 at Leiden University. The workshop is divided into four thematic sessions and will be held by members of the HCTS directorate and HCTS professors.

How can we trace the circulation and translation of texts, images, sounds, and objects across national and regional boundaries, and how can we make sense of the involved agents’ actions and itineraries, without adhering to methodological nationalism or disciplinary reifications of essences? ICAS 11 offers an ideal platform to discuss the conceptual and methodological challenges arising from such questions for critical Asia Studies.

To advance these discussions, scholars working at or affiliated with Heidelberg’s Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS), as well as long-standing colleagues from Leiden and Delhi, are convening a series of hands-on workshops on three consecutive days. The workshops are designed for junior scholars studying processes of circulation and translation within and between Asia and Europe who may benefit from discussing the concepts and methods they deploy with other researchers but potentially also with artists, curators, collectors, filmmakers, novelists or bloggers who share their interests.

The format, which is interactive rather than presentation-based, has been co-developed with Prof. Christiane Brosius,  the HCTS professor for Visual and Media Anthroplogy and Prof. Axel Michaels, founding director of the Centre of Asian and Transcultural Studies, under the aegis of the European Alliance of Asian Studies.

Framed by brief introductions by the conveners, each of the four thematic sessions will be built around a selection of primary materials/data proposed by the participants that lend themselves to multiscalar and pluri-disciplinary explorations. Participants will be asked to prepare five-minute input statements on the conceptual and methodological issues raised by their own sources and comment on the projects of one of their peers. Each of the 3-4 pairs of statements will be followed by open discussion. Materials plus secondary readings will be pre-circulated.

Overview of thematic sessions:

  • 16.7.   Sites of Knowledge between Asia and Europe
    Joachim Kurtz
    (HCTS, Intellectual History) & Dhruv Raina (JNU, History of Science)
  • 18.7.   Chronotypes and Chronologics: Transcultural Travels and translations of periodization schemes
    Barbara Mittler
    (HCTS, Chinese & Transcultural Studies) & Thomas Maissen (Early Modern European History, Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris)
  • 18.7.   Maritime circulations
    Nikolas Jaspert
    (HCTS, Medieval History, Mediterranean Sea) & Harald Fuess (Cultural Economic History, HCTS)

The International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) is the most inclusive international gathering in the field of Asian Studies. ICAS typically attracts participants from over 60 countries to engage in global dialogues on Asia that transcend boundaries between academic disciplines and geographic areas. More than 2000 Asia specialists and representatives of civil society are expected to attend.

For the full program of ICAS 11, please visit the conference website.


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  • The city of Leiden, where ICAS 11 will take place.