Transfer in Dispute. Controversial Representations of Cultural Borrowings in Asia, the Arab World, and Europe

Transfer in Dispute. Controversial Representations of Cultural Borrowings in Asia, the Arab World, and Europe

Sonderforschungsbereich 640 "Repräsentationen sozialer Ordnungen im Wandel"; Arbeitsgemeinschaft "Wissen und Transfer"; in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Senatssaal und Raum 3119
Vom - Bis
26.11.2009 - 28.11.2009
Jörg Feuchter

‘The history of all cultures is the history of cultural borrowing’ (Edward W. Said)

The concept of ‘cultural transfer’ has boomed in recent decades, to the point where it has become established as a comprehensive paradigm. Today cultures are no longer understood as isolated units, but as hybrid formations involved in permanent exchange, themselves always strongly influenced by other cultures and in turn influencing others. Transfer between cultures has come to be regarded as the rule rather than the exception.
Yet cultural transfer phenomena are not something researchers simply find. Instead the production of knowledge about cultural transfer is always itself subject to cultural, political and ideological conditions that affect whether particular transfer phenomena are noticed at all, regarded positively or negatively, held to be more or less probable, or even completely denied (or conversely invented from scratch). Nor are the consequences of the findings neutral: they can be used to glorify or debase cultures, to accuse or exonerate, to mediate between different cultures or to divide them. Thus statements on transfer can be described as ‘representations’, as human ideas that both describe and shape the cultural world.
Representations of transfer are important forums of negotiation for the constitution of cultures. They can blur boundaries, but they can equally serve to separate and divide. This is best observed in those cases where representations are negotiated through open conflict.
The conference ‘Transfer in Dispute’ will compare concrete examples of controversial representations of transfer in and between three major regions of the world: Asia, the Arab World, and Europe. In all three regions representations of cultural transfer play an important role in the definition of ‘own’ and ‘other’ culture, whereby the patterns of representations are certainly varied and complex. The objective of the conference is to conduct a comparative, critical self-reflection of scholarly and intellectual representation practices of ‘transfer’ in these regions by placing them within and between the respective cultural frameworks.

Concept and organization:
Jörg Feuchter, Medieval Studies
(Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/SFB 640)
Friedhelm Hoffmann, Middle Eastern Studies (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin/SFB 640)
Bee Yun, Political Science
(Seoul National University/SFB 640)

The conference is open to the public. No registration is required.

Both venues are accessible to people with disabilities.


Thursday, November 26, 2009
Humboldt-Universität, Senatssaal

Opening Session

18.15 Addresses:
Jörg Baberowski (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Dean of the Dept. of Philosophy I and Head of Sonderforschungsbereich 640)
Benjamin Zachariah (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin)

18.30 Keynote Lecture:
Heiner Roetz (Ruhr-Universität Bochum):
Transfer in Dispute. China and the West

19.30 Reception

Friday, November 27, 2009
Humboldt-Universität, Raum 3119

09.30 Transfer in Dispute. Introduction (Jörg Feuchter, Friedhelm Hoffmann, Bee Yun)

10.00 Panel I: The Transfer of Violence and Fascism. The Colony and the Colonial Power

Benjamin Zachariah (ZMO/University of Sheffield): Rethinking (the Absence of) Fascism in India, 1922-1945

Joseph-Simon Görlach (University College London): Islamofascism. Western Representations of Fascist Influences on Islamic Thought

Andreas Weiß (Humboldt-Universität/SFB 640): Kolonialismus und Gewalt. Postulierte Transfers und politische Instrumentalisierung (with English translation)

14.30 Panel II: An Unbalanced Triangle? Transfers between East Asia, the Arab World, and Europe in the 19th and 20th Century

Young Sun Ha (Seoul National University):
The Conceptual History of ‘Civilization’ in the 19th Century Korea

Jung Woon Choi (Seoul National University):
The Importation of Love from Modern Europe to Korea

Mohammad El-Sayed Selim (Kuwait University):
Arab Representations of Transfers

Yi-Kai Chen (Cheng Kung University, Tainan/Taiwan): Der Transfer der westlichen Demokratie in den chinesischen Kulturraum (with English translation)

19.00 End of Day I

Saturday, November 28, 2009
Humboldt-Universität, Raum 3119

09.30 Panel III: The Transfer of Legal and Political Systems and Ideas

Friedhelm Hoffmann (ZMO/SFB 640):
Legal Authenticity, Cultural Insulation and Undemocratic Rule. Abd-al-Razzâq al-Sanhûrî's (1895-1971) Sharia Project and Its Misrepresentation in Egypt

Naseef Naeem (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen): Parliamentarism in the New Iraqi Constitution: Integration or Disintegration through Transfer?

Bee Yun (Seoul National University/SFB 640):
Aristotle between the Levant and Longthorpe: Circulation and Localization of Political Ideas in the Later Middle Ages

14.00 Panel IV: Islam and Christianity in the Middle Ages. Historiographies of Cultural Transfer and Insulation

Kristin Skottki (Universität Rostock):
Medieval Western Perceptions of Islam and the Scholars: What Went Wrong?

Dorothea Weltecke (Universität Konstanz):
The Sultan of Lucera: Emperor Frederick II (1194-1250) and His Relations to Muslims in Modern Perspectives

Wolfram Drews (Univ. Köln/Dölger-Institut, Bonn): Jewish or Islamic Influence? The Iconoclastic Controversy in Dispute

Tim Geelhaar (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt):
Did the Medieval West Receive a ‘Complete Model’ of Education from Classical Islam? George Makdisi (1920-2002) and His Thesis Reconsidered

Jörg Feuchter (Humboldt-Universität/SFB 640): Transcultural Histories of Violence. The Transfer of Religious Violence from Islam as an Explanatory Stereotype in Medieval Studies

18.00 Hartmut Kaelble (Humboldt-Universität/SFB 640): Résumé of the Conference

18.30-19.15 Final Discussion


Dr. Jörg Feuchter

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Phil. Fak. I, SFB 640, 10099 Berlin
030 2093 4759
030 2093 4793