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D1 Historicizing Violence

When Chinggis Khan, probably the best known Mongol, died in 1227 during a retaliation campaign against the Chinese kingdom of the Tanguts, the boundaries of his empire surpassed all dimensions that a Nomadic realm has ever achieved. Suddenly, many Asian and European societies saw themselves confronted with a new extremely violent enemy that should have a far reaching influence on the collective memory of the affected nations in East and West. In the process of its historicizing, the Mongolian invasion became also in a comparative or transcultural perspective extremely important for national identity formation and the definition of social affiliation. In Russia, even today the term "Tatar Yoke" has a highly emotional connotation and is often used in discussions about core issues of Russian identity. Our project compares these various ways of historicizing this violent experience that connects Asian and European societies until today.

Transcultural Grammar of Violence

Transculturality in the sense of our project refers to parallels or similarities in the perception and historicizing of an event that directly or indirectly linked societies that were geographically widely separated from one another. The Mongolian Invasion itself was certainly a transcultural phenomenon as it confronted various cultural communities with extreme violence and forced them to deal with and to integrate this experience into their collective memory. Our project strive to identify common patterns in the ways of dealing with violent and traumatic events in the history of various cultural communities. The expression "Transcultural Grammar of Violence" therefore, refers to an analytical tool that we aim to create in order to compare the various elements of this process of historicizing and to show the similarities and differences between the affected cultures.