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Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja


Introduction to Transcultural Studies
(co-taught withProf. Dr. Christiane Brosius and Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz)

The concept of transculturality can be conceptualized both as a heuristic device and a  focus of study. It is embedded in a heterogeneous landscape of theoretical and methodological approaches drawing on many disciplines and covering diverse thematic, historical and geographic areas. Jointly conducted by researchers in the three study foci of the MA Transcultural Studies, this lecture class will explore the contributions and limitations of inherited and current approaches to cultural interactions. 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 exchanges 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.

Tuesdays, 11am to 1pm, KJC 212


Illicit Visions? The Dynamics of the Image in the Arts of the Islamicate World

Violent conflicts over images of the prophet Mohammed that have erupted in recent times have reinforced perceptions of an "Islamic culture" intrinsically hostile to images of living beings. Discussions of Islam's "image problem" are not restricted to popular media, rather they have  for long been firmly anchored in scholarship and have frequently found articulation in the blanket-term "Bilderverbot". This lecture course will begin by investigating the history of tropes about the "illicit picture" and the reductive conceptions of Islamic art that have followed from these. It will further undertake a historical investigation of the conception and reception of images in Islamicate societies at different historical moments and reaching out into contemporary times. Explorations of theological sources relating to figural representation in Islam will be undertaken in conjuction with other historical determinants of attitudes towards images, to uncover the dynamics of both image production as well as iconoclastic practice. The abundance of figural images that make up the body of "Islamic art" in museums and collections across the world testifies to a rich artistic creativity, and challenges us to find nuanced ways of understanding the tensions between theology and the magnetic pull of figuration. Through a series of  case studies the course seeks to uncover ways of thinking about the image, the modalities of image production, reception and transmission in societies of different regions - Arabia, West and South Asia - during different historical moments shaped by the dynamics of migration, encounter and resistance. It will address a variety of themes such as representations of the Prophet, narratives of heroism, portraying political power, caricatures and erotic images. Thematic studies will be interwoven with questions about the ways in which materiality, geometry and calligraphic form have generated specific notions of the image. How can these contribute to refining paradigms of image theory?

Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm, KJC 212


Research Colloquium in Art History for Masters and Doctoral Students

In the research colloquium students present and discuss their thesis.

Tuesdays, 4 to 6pm, KJC 002

Franziska Koch


Nam June Paik - the father of video art in (trans-)cultural context and border-crossing collaborations

The course addresses the multi-media work, artistic position and art-related concepts of Nam June Paik (1932 - 2006), popularly known as the "father of video art", by introducing both, an (art) historical and transcultural perspective. Can Paik - who was born in Korea, studied music and its history in Japan, began his career as a multi-media artist in Germany, before completing his career based in the USA as an outspoken cosmopolitan - be called a "transcultural artist" avant la lettre?
Based on a variety of primary and secondary literature and detailed analysis of his large and divers oeuvre - including his early Fluxus pieces, pioneering performance activities, as well as his later laser-works, and transnational broadcasting projects - we will consider Paik in distinct historical, socio-cultural, philosophical and media/art-related contexts. The second aim of the course is to discuss Paik as formative participant of and in relation to a wide, border-crossing network of vanguard artists since the 1960s, including, but not limited to such prominent contemporaries as Joseph Beuys, Wolf Vostell, John Cage, Charlotte Moorman, Shigeko Kubota, and George Maciunas.
How has his/their vision/-s and practice/-s of a globally related and informed (art) world underminded the currency of geopolitical borders and an Eurocentric art discourse during and after the end of the Cold War?

Thursdays, 11am to 1pm, KJC 002

PD Dr.-Ing. Mag. Michael Falser

Advanced Seminar

Postmodernism. From Theory to Art and Architecture

The Seminar explores by whom, when, where and in which kind of publications postmodernist theories emerged, how they were negotiated in exhibitions (such as the First Architectural Biennale in Venice in 1980), and became visible in artistic productions. We will try to map this global movement's global trajectories with a focus on individual architects and their projects ranging from the USA and Europe to Asia (especially India and Japan).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 4 to 6pm, KJC 112
Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 4 to 6pm, KJC 112
Tuesday, October 27, 2015, 4 to 6pm, KJC 112
Friday, November 20, 2015, 11am to 6pm, KJC 112
Friday, December 11, 2015, 11am to 6pm, KJC 112
Friday, January 15, 2016, 11am to 6pm, KJC 112

Dr. Corinna Forberg


Picturesque Travel - Traveling Pictures: The Idea of Asia in Illustrated Travelogues

With the discovery of the sea routes to Asia by the end of the 15th century, the long-lasting relationship between Europe and Asia had been intensified. Henceforth, the oceans were full of European vessels, which had merchants, priests, physicians, scholars, adventurers and artists aboard and headed for the Asian coast. These eye-witnesses came back to their homelands with new impressions of the foreign and were welcomed by their curious relatives and countrymen. Some returnees published their news from unkonwn regions and their experiences with the strangers in travel books which got the more popular the more images they contained.
In our block seminar, we will deal with the sources of the illustrations, trace their way back from Asia to Europe and back again, investigate the dense social network of travelers, merchants, publishers and readers and endeavor to reconstruct the image of Asia (with focus on India and China) that was created on that way. The time frame of our investigations is from the 16th to the 19th centuries and will facilitate the view on a manifold process that incorporates different ideas of authenticity, self and social perception as well as of colonial practices.

Friday, October 16, 2015, 9am to 1pm, KJC 002
Friday, December 11, 2015, 9am to 6pm, KJC 002
Saturday, December 12, 2015, 9am to 6pm, KJC 002
Friday, December 18, 2015, 9am to 6pm, KJC 002
Saturday, December 19, 2015, 9am to 6pm, KJC 002