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Contemporary photography as a cultural practice by diasporic Iranians in Europe

The project explores the visual culture of contemporary photography as central medium of socio-political expression in the light of ongoing political restriction and repression. With a focus on professional artistic and documentary photographers from Iran who have migrated to Europe, the aim of the project is an anthropological investigation of photography as cultural production in times of political crises, change and transnational migration.


Ageing in a transcultural context (Cluster project B19)

This interdisciplinary research group – coordinated by Christiane Brosius (Visual and Media Anthropology, KJC), Axel Michaels (Indology, SAI) and Andreas Kruse (Director Institute of Gerontology) – focuses on ageing in a transcultural urban context, with a particular focus on India and Nepal. Project members are PhD-candidates Roberta Mandoki (Kathmandu) and Annika Mayer (Delhi).


Rethinking Art and Anthropology (Cluster Project B 20)

This project approaches the entanglements of anthropology and art, in theory and methodology, by using transculturality as a conceptual key in order to a) challenge and push the discipline’s conceptual and methodological boundaries in the context of globalised cultural production and to b) transcultural ethnography to better understand globalised art circuits, institutions and agents. The main focus is on transnational networks of art production, exhibition and mediation in South Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh, India). Project member is PhD-student Marlene Harles.


Arts and the Transcultural: Concepts, Histories and Practices (Net 1)

The search for a new conceptual vocabulary and research apparatus to study the dynamics of transculturality in the fields of art history, visual culture and media anthropology is a reflexive enterprise which requires synergetic collaboration across regions, time spans and disciplinary boundaries. The network project “Arts and the Transcultural: concepts, histories and practices” offers such a cross-disciplinary research environment of 15 scholars working on subjects which focus on art worlds and practices in a transcultural perspective. Based on collaborative research and publications, joint teaching and research colloquia/symposia at Heidelberg University, the research network aims to strengthen the foundations of ongoing research and to provide fresh impulses emanating from the Heidelberg Cluster to practitioners of art history, anthropology and visual culture within and beyond Heidelberg

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HERA Creating the 'New' Asian Woman

"Mobile Media, Gender & the City in China", © J. de Kloet, 2008.

The project "Creating the ‘New’ Asian Woman: Entanglements of Urban Space, Cultural Encounters and Gendered Identities in Shanghai and Delhi", or in short called SINGLE, deals with the representation of single women in China (Shanghai) and India (Delhi). The context of urban transformation in both countries is enabling the formation of new cultural geographies and biographies for single women. SINGLE uses ethnographic, mobile and visual methodologies to explore these concerns, documenting the experiences of single women in Delhi and Shanghai that are indicative of wider social and demographic transformations, and set within wider debates of cultural encounter, world cities and globalisation. The project aims to extend work in the Digital Humanities, using a state-of-the-art online platform for both analysis and the creation of an interactive public gallery. Visual methods are central to this work and collaboration with artists in Shanghai and Delhi will culminate in public events in Shanghai, Delhi and Amsterdam.


SINGLE is funded by the network Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) in the context of their new Joint Research Programme 'Cultural Encounters'. HERA is a partnership between 21 Humanities Research Councils across Europe and the European Science Foundation (ESF), with the objective of firmly establishing the humanities in the European Research Area and in the European Commission Framework Programmes. 


The project, with main base in Heidelberg, is a collaboration coordinated by Prof. Christiane Brosius, Dr. Melissa Butcher, and Prof. Jeroen deKloet. Prof. Brosius is Professor of Visual and Media Anthropology and Speaker of Research Area B "Public Spheres". Dr. Butcher is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at The Open University, United Kingdom. Prof. de Kloet is Professor of Globalisation Studies and Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies (ACGS) at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.



Forum Urban Spaces (ForUS)

“Urban Trends”. Shanghai, Sept. 2011. © Marie Sander.

The Forum ‘Urban Spaces’ was founded in September 2013 in order to connect scholars across various disciplines interested in processes of urbanization. Offering a platform for the exchange on theoretical and methodological trends and concerns in urban studies, it seeks to promote new innovative ways to research city spaces and urban imaginaries. Following a transregional and transdisciplinary approach, the aim is to connect and produce knowledge on cities in the Global South as well as the Global North.
The initiative is particularly interested in the everyday practices of all kinds of social groups living in cities, their making, experience and notion of spaces in these settings. In this context our research agenda raises questions on citizens’ access to and participation in public space. The Forum also seeks to link these questions to experiences and representations of urbanity in art, film, architecture and literature. Furthermore, a central concern is to explore how urban spaces connect and disconnect across, and how this invites to reconsider the urban as an experimental field beyond particular sites.


Mobile Spaces

The new project ‘Mobile Spaces: Urban everyday practices in transcultural perspective’ will start in March 2014 and examines transculturality as concept and method for new ways to look at mobilities in cities.
The project explores in which ways experiences and understandings of cities of the ‘global South’ and the ‘global North’ can be brought together. Therefore it critically examines everyday practices in different regional contexts under the influences of globalization and neoliberalization.

Its transdisciplinary approach is grounded in three scientific fields - Human Geography, Linguistics and Media Anthropology - and the members’ different regional expertise in Asia, Europe and North America. Seeking to enable further collaborative projects in urban studies, ‘Mobile spaces’ promotes urbanity and urbanization as a transdisciplinary research focus.

The project is headed by Prof. Christiane Brosius, Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology, Prof. Ulrike Gerhard, Professor for Human Geography of North America, Prof. Beatrix Busse, Chair of English Linguistics, all from Heidelberg University. Dr. Marie Sander and Dr. Editha Marquardt jointly coordinate the project.