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The Transformative Power of the Copy

Feb 14, 2014

"The Transformative Power of the Copy" was the topic of an international workshop jointly organized by the interdisciplinary research groups MC5 "Global Concepts" and MC8.2 "Innovation Management". The event took place from February 14 to 15, 2014, at Heidelberg University.

The topic of the "copy" has attracted interest among scholars in cultural studies for a few years. One aim was to free the notion of the “copy” from its restricted understanding as an accurate effigy and to reach a new conceptualization. Most studies, however, have more or less remained within the analytical approaches of their particular discipline. We are still missing a transcultural and interdisciplinary perspective which analyses the process of copying and the meaning of copies in contexts of intercultural encounter. That was the aim of our workshop on "The Transformative Power of the Copy: A Transcultural and Interdisciplinary Approach" at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context" at Heidelberg University.

The contributions of the eighteen speakers ranged from prehistory to the present, from Europe to the Far East. They aimed at overcoming the disciplinary boundaries and at taking a critical and interdisciplinary look at the notion of the “copy” and related terms like “mimesis”, “imitation” or “reproduction”. Therewith, they moved beyond the established connotations of the copy in the 20th century as a minute and uninspired imitation. Instead, they focused on the flexible, dynamic and process-related aspects of copying.

The workshop "Transformative Power of the Copy: A Transcultural and Interdisciplinary Approach" took place from February 14 to 15, 2014, at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Research. It was jointly organized by Dr. Corinna Forberg and Dr. Philipp Stockhammer on behalf of the interdisciplinary research groups MC5 "Global Concepts" and MC8.2 "Innovation Management", respectively.

Dr. Corinna Forberg is a member of the research Group MC5 "Global Concepts" which is coordinated by Prof. Monica Juneja together with Prof. Joachim Kurtz, Prof. Dhruv Raina and Prof. Rudolf G. Wagner. Dr. Philipp W. Stockhammer is coordinator of the Cluster project MC8.2 "Innovation Management – Bronze Age Entanglements between Asia and Europe".

For more information, visit the extensive workshop website.


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  • Group of Participants

  • Key Visual

  • Philipp Stockhammer

  • Corinna Forberg