Processes of Transcultural Entanglement and Disentanglement

Processes of Transcultural Entanglement and Disentanglement

Prof. Dr. Wolfram Drews, Historisches Seminar Universität Münster, Projekt C2-4 des Exzellenzclusters "Monarchische Herrschaft und religiöse Vergemeinschaftung"
Johannisstraße4, 48143 Münster
Vom - Bis
07.06.2017 - 09.06.2017
Marcel Bubert

Entanglement has been on the agenda of scholars active in global history and postcolonial studies for some time. At present, processes of disentanglement are increasingly coming into focus. However, it is important to note that processes of disentanglement may be restricted to certain fields, such as politics, while entangling links may continue to exist in other areas, such as religious institutions. In this perspective, concepts and terms such as disassemblage, blockade, betrayal, purification and differentiation may provide a basis for understanding the rearrangement of particular elements within fields marked by specific cultural and social factors.

Processes of disentanglement therefore constitute one of the major issues of the Münster workshop. In addition to that, the conference aims at shedding new light on processes of entanglement in two further dimensions: first, use of material objects, and second, narratives of (dis)entanglement.

We can detect moments of entanglement and disentanglement in specific practices, including the composition of texts as well as handling material artefacts. In many cases, material objects serve as a basis for networks. Religious authorities often used artefacts such as books, manuscripts, buildings, textiles or images to enhance their legitimacy or to mark themselves off from others. Use of religiously charged artefacts entails definitions of in-groups and out-groups, everyday use of objects may draw communities close to each other, but it may also drive them apart.

Narratives of entanglement and disentanglement, on their part, can characterize stories told by members of different cultures about the emergence of their own group and its demarcation from “others”. Such narratives may involve acceptance, denial, re-interpretation or even invention of transcultural interaction.


Wednesday 7th June

14.00 Arrival, registration, refreshments
14.45 Opening / Introduction
15.00 Susanne Gödde (Religious Studies / Classical Philology, FU Berlin): The Logic of Foreign Origins: Egyptian Argos and Phoenician Thebes in Ancient Greek Myths
15.45 Coffee break
16.15 Kristin Skottki (Medieval History, Bayreuth): Witchdemonology. A Concept of Entanglement between Europe and Africa?
17.00 Jürgen Heyde (Eastern European History, Halle): Entangled Dis_Integration – Armenians, Burghers, and Jews in Fifteenth-Century L'viv

Thursday 8th June

09.30 Jenny Oesterle (Medieval History, Heidelberg): Protection for Refugees in the First Decades of Islamic History
10.15 John Tolan (History / Islamic Studies, Nantes): The Portrait of Muḥammad as an Anti-clerical Reformer in Early Modern Europe
11.00 Coffee break
11.30 Gerhard Langer (Jewish Studies, Vienna): Jewish Dietary Laws as a Means of Disentanglement
12.15 Lunch
15.00 Ori Preuss (Latin American History, Tel Aviv): The Brotherhood between our Languages? Non/translation as a site of Argentine-Brazilian Dis/entanglements, 1860s-1910s
15.45 Tony Ballantyne (Modern History, Otago, New Zeeland): Entanglement and Disentanglement: Rethinking the Culture of the Modern British Empire
16.30 Coffee break
17.00 Birgit Schäbler (History of Western Asia, Erfurt): When Relations Turn Sour: Moments of Disentanglement between Europe and the Muslim World

Friday 9th June

09.30 Margrit Pernau (Modern History, Berlin): The Magic of Drawing Boundaries. Indian Muslims’ Striving for Purity
10.15 Sven Bretfeld (Religious Studies, Trondheim): The Foreigner as Religious Defiler: Buddhist Conspiracy Theories as Narratives of Negative Entanglement
11.00 Coffee break
11.30 Michael Hofmann (German Studies, Paderborn): Zwischen Koran und Kafka. Transkulturelle Verflechtungen bei Navid Kermani
12.15 Final discussion
13.00 End of workshop