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Conference "Trends on the Move: Transcultural Dimensions of Popular Flows"

Friday 28 October 2011 to Saturday 29 October 2011

Location: Karl Jaspers Center, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Research project B12 "Rethinking Trends: Transcultural Flows in Global Publics" organizes a conference on trend flows between Asia and Europe in order to discuss the transcultural, historical, and socio-political dimensions of popular global trends.
It is held at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Transcultural Studies from October 28-29, 2011.

Over the one and a half conference days, project members as well as invitedsenior scholars from various fields of study, such as history, social sciences, (visual) anthropology, cultural studies, media studies, and literature aim at investigating trends within popular culture by moving beyond mere quantitative approaches.

The program covers three panel sessions focusing on (1) Transcultural Images - Gender, Body, and Consumer Culture, (2) Pan-socialist Cultural Consumption, and (3) Growing Markets in China and Japan. All presenters will take a distinctly transcultural approach to the study of selected trends that have travelled to and/or from Asia and Europe since the late 19th century. Topics will include trends in consumer culture, film, fashion, media, and popular political culture. By discussing such a wide array of different trends, the project members of B12 seek to understand better the dynamics of trends over time: how do trends develop? Which role do different agents (producers, consumers, gatekeepers, tastemakers, and censors) as well as institutions (international companies, local businesses, governments etc) play in the global popularization of certain trends? Why are some trends rather short-lived while others prove surprisingly resilient? And finally: how do global trends assimilate to particular local settings?

The conference “Trends on the Move – Transcultural Dimensions of Popular Flows” will be the final event of research project B12 "Rethinking Trends:Transcultural Flows in Global Publics". Project B12 is a three-year fully funded research network comprising some 15 junior scholars from different academic backgrounds. Under the auspices of Prof. Barbara Mittler, all project members have worked on individual case studies covering topics such as body culture, youth cultures as well as popular political cultures in order to analyze the travels of particular trends across national and cultural borders in the attempt to develop strategies that reconfigure trends as one very important and influential type of transcultural popular flow.