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Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja


Introduction to Transcultural Studies
(co-taught with Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz, Prof. Dr. Harald Fuess, Dr. David Mervart and Prof. Dr. Cora Bender)

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

Advanced Seminar

Creating the Orient - Chinoiserie and Japonisme across Europe and Asia 18th to the 20th centuries

The terms Chinoiserie and Japonisme are used to describe the fascination, which Chinese/Japanese objects or those styled according to European fantasies of these regions exercised in modern European cultures. The seminar will examine the cultural meanings of this phenomenon in the realms of the arts, material culture and music - first in European settings and then trace its trajectories back again to Asia. The themes covered would include gardens and architectures, articles relegated to domestic interiors (ceramics, lacquer and wallpaper), woodcut prints, oil paintings, instrumental and dramatic music. Rather than view this phenomenon as a form of cultural "diffusion" or artistic "influence", the course will look more closely at the ways in which Chinese, Japanese and European cultural products crossed and mingled to produce complex relationships and multiple transcultural aesthetic registers for which  art history still has to find an appropriate analytic language.Through individual case studies we will attempt to read examples of "Chinese taste" or "oriental fantasies" in Europe or "Western-style" art in Japan as more than ephemeral fashions. By following the range of responses the works provoked within a particular setting, be it in Europe or Asia, we will examine the potential of an alien aesthetic to catalyze the imagination and transform the categories and expressive outlook of its "host culture".

The seminar will include a day-excursion to a regional site.

Thursdays, 11am to 1pm, KJC 212


Colloquium for PhD, Magister, Master

Tuesdays, fortnightly, 4 to 6pm, KJC 002

Franziska Koch

Seminar/ Tutorial

The art of art criticism - learning through an exhibition on the genre of reportage drawing
(at HD Kunstverein in co-operation with the Melton Prior Institute)

The Heidelberger Kunstverein invites us to “Vogelman Diaries – the Melton Prior Institute presents ‘special artists’” (November 16, 2012 to January 27, 2013). The MPI (founded in 2005) collects graphics that capture the early history of illustrated press and reportage drawing. Accordingly, the exhibition highlights “the historical figure of the ‘special artist’, as early professional reportage illustrators were called […]. In contrast to their colleagues from the academies they mostly did not work within restricted media and themes, but covered a wide range of practices, encompassing life reportage, fictional illustration, and political caricature, in addition to literary, academic and performative features or art and artists parodies”, the exhibition concept explains. The display includes more than ten “special artists” (e.a. Robert Weaver, Paul Hogarth, Thomas Nast). The curators stress that their works show affinities with contemporary context-related art practices, since reportage illustrators and journalists historically dominated the fin-de-siècle circles, which became laboratories of the early experimental artistic avant-gardes.

The seminar will provide an exercise in art critical writing in connection with this exhibition. In the first part, we will analyze text formats such as the feuilleton exhibition review or the catalogue essay. In the second part, we will research the exhibition’s contents in art historical perspective and explore how it is mediated by the institution of the Kunstverein. We will meet with the Director of the Kunstverein, attend the press preview, interview the founder of the MPI – the artist Alexander Roob – , and learn about their curatorial concept. The final part will comprise of a writing workshop to produce art critical texts that elaborate on various aspects of the exhibition. The aim is to publish the best results in form of a brochure or an online publication.

Thursdays, 11am to 1pm, KJC 002