Autumn School Asia and Europe. Discourse, Circulation and Representation

Universität Zürich
Doktoratsprogramm Asien und Europa, Universität Zürich
30.09.2019 - 04.10.2019
DP Asien & Europa

The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program Asia & Europe at Zurich University invites all interested doctoral students and early postdocs to a one-week intensive seminar program “Asia & Europe”. It offers a stimulating and interactive learning experience, establishing an optimal framework for a discipline-specific yet interdisciplinary cross-cultural research dialogue. The intensive seminar program is funded by swissuniversities and is designed to especially promote national and international scholarly exchange. The seminar aims to contribute to strengthening academic cooperation among Swiss universities focusing on cross-cultural exchanges and transhistorical entanglements between Asia and Europe from a comparative perspective. Doctoral students and early postdocs from universities outside of Switzerland are also welcome to apply.

The intensive seminar week will offer an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary program organized into two workshops with renowned national and international experts in their respective fields.

Workshop I Museology and Museography

In our globalized world, art curators and researchers collaborating with museums have to work in and with diverse, multifaceted geographical, cultural and socio-political contexts. Thus, universities worldwide are progressively introducing elements of curatorial practice as part of their study curricula, with the aim to offer their students the necessary skills not only to collaborate in international frameworks and address transcultural/multicultural audiences effectively, but also to pay attention to decolonization processes and post-colonial realities, or complex inter- and transdisciplinary approaches, as well as awareness of adequate representations of minorities, gender, or cultural and religious communities.

Curatorship is a powerful instrument to communicate understanding of transformation processes or knowledge production and preservation. It represents an attractive opportunity and an alternative career beyond or beside the traditional tracks of academia that can appeal to both junior scholars who have acquired a specific expertise in Art History and Conservation and to those who have a training in Ethnography, Anthropology, and Area Studies among other disciplines.

The workshop combines both a theoretical and a practical approach. It aims at providing a detailed overview of the different aspects involved in the organization of a successful art exhibition, from the identification of an attractive concept to the actual thematic display of objects, problematizing the process of representation and preservation in exhibitions and art collections. The workshop addresses issues such as the evolution from collectors and private collections to the Renaissance concept of the “public museum;” the landscape of contemporary museums; different aspects of curatorial practice, and in particular the handling, transportation, storage, and display of art works; the restauration and conservation of works of art; different display methods and techniques; opportunities, challenges and career prospects of curatorship as a profession. Scholars will provide an extensive theoretical introduction to museology as a discipline, while curators from Swiss museums and institutions managing different kinds of collections will contribute their expertise and personal experience, giving insights, practical training, and advice on how to design exhibitions and manage museums. The seminar also includes active training through guided tours and visits to public museums and collections in Zurich.

Workshop II: Energy and Health Politics. Approaches to discourse and knowledge circulation

The complex and intertwining political, economic, social, and cultural issues of globalization brought along new challenges for the humanities. To grasp the phenomena of global transfers, circulation, and entanglements, as well as understand, describe, and analyze complex flows and formulation of public opinion, knowledge, policies, and cultural artifacts, scholars often have to move outside their comfort zone. This workshop aims to bridge global studies and area studies by offering an opportunity to transcend disciplinary boundaries and encouraging dialogues between researchers studying similar topics with different disciplinary methods.

Our Workshop II, Approaches to discourse, circulation and representation, aims to bring together doctoral students and early postdocs from various disciplines working on Asia and Europe in a global context. It will focus on methods and theoretical approaches used to study forms of representation and political discourses. Students will be offered lectures and introductions to various research methods for analyzing texts and other forms of representation by established scholars. We are aiming to analyze the formation of public opinion and knowledge concerning issues such as environment & energy (climate change), social justice, and public health. In this workshop, we will address the challenges of choosing sources, analyzing them and bringing them into conversation with other research and theoretical concepts. Our goal is to bring together multiple approaches in the study of societies both historical and contemporary and to extract lessons valid for researchers from diverse backgrounds.

Mentoring program: Career opportunities for young researchers (Zurich University Graduate Campus Grant). Financed by the Graduate Campus of Zurich University, the seminar will also offer several scheduled networking opportunities during the week and a focused career coaching program at the end of the workshop. The aim is to introduce young scholars to researchers at Zurich University and to curators of renowned museums in Switzerland in order to establish lasting professional networks.

Application: August 16, 2019, via e-mail to

Registration fee: 100 CHF, Dinner: 30 CHF. PhD students without employment can apply for reimbursement of the application fee after the autumn-school. PhD students from outside Zurich can apply for a partial reimbursement for travel and accommodation costs.


Milena Guthörl
Universität Zürich
Rämistrasse 59
8001 Zürich

+41 44 63 40738

Autumn School Asia and Europe. Discourse, Circulation and Representation, 30.09.2019 – 04.10.2019 Zürich, in: H-Soz-Kult, 16.07.2019, <>.
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