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Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja


Global Art History - Theories and Methods

Today we agree that the Reichstag wrapped up in bales of fabric is a work of art or that Ai Wei-Wei’s politically transgressive "self-portrait" rightfully enjoys the autonomous space of art. We take for granted that individuals located in different corners of the globe and who may have never met each other share this understanding, given the mobility and media connectivity of the present. What are the consequences of contemporary globalization for the history of art? Can the discipline be made global and if so, how and by whom? Recent years have witnessed different attempts in Europe and the United States to "globalize" art history by extending its frame to encompass the "world". The lecture course begins with a survey of these theoretical models of "world art studies". It will then introduce the concept of transculturation and compare its analytical potential with that of earlier notions such as diffusion, transfer, hybridity or influence which have formed the staple vocabulary of art history. The theoretical discussion will be elaborated in thematic units drawn from regions of Europe and Asia to investigate the possibilities of narrating the histories of artists, objects and displays from a transcultural perspective. To what extent did the mobility of individuals and objects, the awareness of other cultures, practices of collecting, appropriating and reconfiguring alien forms shape the history of artistic creation and its reception? We will try to examine the diverse range of responses, which varied according to time, region and historical context, to such phenomena. Looking at the world of art through a transcultural lens would mean questioning some of the intrinsic values of art history such as originality and uniqueness. This would involve bringing back excluded materials and questions centre-stage: in what ways did the presence of objects, not always categorized as "art" from the regions of Asia, Africa or South America within collections of European elites, artists or museums and their modes of reception, reuse, sale and display prove to be constitutive of cultural achievements associated with major art movements such as the Renaissance, Rococo or Cubism?

Thursdays, 9 to 11am, KJC 212


Introduction to Transcultural Studies
(co-taught with Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius, Prof. Dr. Harald Fuess, Prof. Dr. Birgit Kellner and Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz)

The concept of transculturality can be used both as a heuristic device (e.g. multi-perspectivity and multi-locality) and focus of study (e.g. cultural entanglements). It is embedded in a large and very heterogeneous landscape of theoretical and methodological approaches that come from various disciplines and cover different thematic, historical and geographic areas. Jointly conducted by the five Cluster chairs, this lecture class will discuss the contributions and limitations of inherited and current notions of transculturality. Focusing on the three study areas of the MA TS, and the respective fields of research of the lecturers, theories and methods will be tested, e.g. in explorations of global art and exhibition practices, appropriations of philosophical and religious ideas, and the relationship between patterns of consumption and the exchange of commodities. The goal of the course is to introduce students to diverse disciplinary perspectives enabling them to frame their own studies of transcultural phenomena and perspectives.

Tuesdays, 11am to 1pm, KJC 212


The exotic, the picturesque, the colonial and the classical – A transcultural enquiry into modern architectural history between Asia and Europe
(co-taught with Dr. Michael Falser)

for more information see Falser (below)


Colloquium for doctoral, Magister and Masters' students

Tuesdays, fortnightly, 4 to 6pm, KJC 002

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Dr.-Ing. Mag. Michael Falser


The exotic, the picturesque, the colonial and the classical – A transcultural enquiry into modern architectural history between Asia and Europe
(co-taught with Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja)

The seminar will investigate the phenomenon of transcultural relationships as they unfolded through the medium of architecture from the 18th to the 21st centuries at different sites in Asia and Europe. It will comprise of a combination of theoretical readings and empirical case studies that will investigate architectural phenomena not explicable from within the parameters of an architectural history framed by the nation-state. The range of subjects to be analyzed through individual presentations includes exoticizing structures of the 18th century that proliferated across Europe in gardens, aristocratic residences and spaces of leisure, those erected during the world exhibitions of the 19th and 20th centuries, building practices in colonial contexts of South, Southeast and East Asia and the constitutive role of building experiments in the colonies for the emergence of "regional" styles in Europe.

October 18, 2011, 3 to 6pm, KJC 212
December 3, 2011, 3 to 6pm, KJC 212
December 10, 2011, 10am to 6pm, KJC 112
December 19, 2011, 9am to 4pm, KJC 212

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Franziska Koch


Visual Modernities and Artistic Avant-gardes in 20th Century Japan, China and Europe in a Transcultural Perspective
(co-taught with Mio Wakita (Institute of East-Asian Art History))

The seminar studies visual modernities and artistic avant-gardes in several regions across East-Asia and Western Europe spanning a period between 1900 and 1989. The key question of our analysis is how diverging as well as entangled forms of “the modern” evolved in the field of art and visual culture in such distant and culturally distinct places as Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Shanghai or Beijing. Several local modernist movements, their manifestos and artworks will serve as exemplary starting points of our discussion.
We will study the kind of media, strategy and claims that artists groups used when positioning themselves in relation to the visual and artistic mainstream as well as to the wider modernization of their particular social contexts: e.a. the Chinese Woodcut Movement, German expressionism and Dadaism in the first decades of the 20th century, the Japanese Gutai-Group or the Euro-American Fluxus movement mid of the century, and Xiamen Dada as well as radical body art in China during the 1980s. We will critically ask whether and to what extent these movements referred to a (shared) canon and discourse of “the modern” (of Western origins): How did the artists demarcate their artistic notions and practices from previous ones, which aspects unite or distinguish their often provocative activities from one another, and what characterizes their relationship with dominant Western or Asian art centers and hegemonic narratives?
The transcultural perspective will help to call into question conventional interpretations of Modernism which often argue in Eurocentric ways. The seminar pays special attention to modern visual technologies such as photography, film and the news media as well as modern transport systems in the different socio-historical settings, because such media did not only accelerate the circulation of artistic works, agents, and their concepts, but are often also constitutive for an avant-garde aesthetic regarding the material as well as iconographic levels of the works.
The seminar consists of three regular sessions (1 preparatory, 1 session on basic theories of “modernism” and “avant-garde” concepts, 1 wrap-up session) and two whole-day sessions for the actual presentations.

October 14, 2011, 9 to 11am, IKO, Seminarstr. 4
November 11, 2011, 9am to 5pm, IKO, Seminarstr. 4
December 9, 2011, 9am to 5pm, IKO, Seminarstr. 4
December 16, 2011, 9 to 11am, IKO, Seminarstr. 4

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