Cultural Exchange: Classical studies‘, historical and ethnological perspectives
The class “Cultural exchange: classical studies‘, historical and ethnological perspectives” is based on preliminary work and the close collaboration of classical studies’ scholars and ethnologists in the framework of the SFB 587 “deviation and integration: reciprocal effects between nomads and sedentary peoples” as well as on the thoughts concerning the development of a Graduate School “Understanding Space and Territorialisation” within the Graduate Centre Humanities and Social Sciences.
The relatively wide notion of “cultural exchange” encompasses a large scope of methodical approaches towards transfers, cultural interactions and encounters as well as towards hybridisation and interculturalism referring to contacts between groups which distinguish themselves as culturally homogenous vis-à-vis an outside world. These approaches are still debated in research. It is our aim not to exclude works due to a special methodical preference, but to create within the class a forum for the comparison of the individual approaches’ advantages and disadvantages so as to grant, within an internationally rapidly growing field, a stimulating frame of discussion for the qualification of PhD students.
Geographical mobility and its cultural consequences in the case of contact constitute the brace of the phenomena which have been studied for an extensive historical period. In view of the possibilities of interdisciplinary collaboration in the humanities and the diachronic comparisons between historically older periods and current societies, cultural encounters in the area of politics, religion, knowledge, literature, language, values etc. as well as their remembrance and scientific reflexion shall be at the centre of the training and research of this class. Cultural constructs’ dependence on time and context as well as the contingent facticity of historical findings form the class’s mutual topics which shall be confronted with social scientifically inspired theories in the Graduate Centre.