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Trans-cultural Entanglements and Global Perspectives in the Pre-Modern World

Jul 12, 2013 - Jul 13, 2013

First Annual Conference of the Collaborative Research Center 980 ‘Episteme in Motion. Transfer of Knowledge from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period’, Freie Universität Berlin

in Cooperation with the House of World Cultures


Today’s interconnected world is not a new phenomenon, but looks back to a long history of exchange and interaction. But how do we analyze this long history of entanglement? Were processes of border-crossing interaction and exchange in the past accompanied by forms of global consciousness? How did transfers and forms of mobility impact on the ways in which people viewed themselves and their communities within their worlds? And how did these self-images evolve over time? In this conference, we will explore the ways in which current approaches to issues of trans-cultural entanglements – such as global history and globalization, cultural mobility, transfer and world literatures – can be fruitfully applied to the world before 1800.




Friday, July 12th,

10:00-13:00  Global Trajectories     

Michael Borgolte (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin): The Global Middle Ages? Answers for a New Historiography

Almut Höfert (Universität Zürich): Royalty and Kingship as Global Concepts in Medieval Arab and Latin World Orders

Christoph K. Neumann (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München): Liminality or “Global” Consciousness: İbrāhīm Müteferriḳa as Author

13:00-14:30        Lunch break


14:30-17:30        Transregional Entanglements

Beatrice Gründler (Yale University): Wisdom from India in Pieces

Jerry Brotton (Queen Mary, University of London): Shakespeare and Islam: an Unholy Alliance?

Jerold Frakes (State University of New York, Buffalo): Marvels of the East and the Paradisical Otherworld in the Nordic West: The Vínland Sagas

17:30-18:00        Coffee break


18:00-19:30        Keynote: Gayatri Spivak (Columbia University, New York): Afloat in the Global

19:30                   Dinner


Saturday, July 13th.

09:30-14:00       Challenging Chronology

Emily Apter (New York University): Eurochronology and the Politics of Periodization

Aamir Mufti (University of California, Los Angeles): The Wounded Gazelle: The Ghazal between Tradition and Modernity

11:30-12:00        Coffee break

Andrew James Johnston (Freie Universität Berlin): Beowulf as World Literature

Angelika Neuwirth (Freie Universität Berlin): Locating the Qur'an in the Epistemic Space of Late Antiquity

14:00-15:30        Lunch break


15:30-17:30       Circulation of Knowledge

Richard R. K. Sorabji (Wolfson College, University of Oxford):Influences from 6th Century Greek Philosophy on Persia, and on Syriac and Arabic Writing

Jürgen Renn (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin): The Globalisation of Knowledge in History

17:30-18:00        Coffee break


18:00-19:30        Keynote: Wang Hui (Tsinghua University, Beijing): Three Sets of “Antithetical” Concepts in Narratives of Chinese History: Empire and Nation-state, fengjian and junxian; Rites/Music and Institutions

19:30                    Dinner


The conference is conceptualized by the research group "Transfer and Transculturality" which is headed by Professor Sebastian Conrad and Professor Miltiadis Pechlivanos.



Venue: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin-Tiergarten


Contact: info@sfb-episteme.de