ZiF Workshop

Overcoming Time and Space - Unknown Oceans and New Worlds in Ancient and Early Modern Times

Date: 7 - 8 June 2018
Convenors: Raimund Schulz (Bielefeld, GER)

The Conference resulted in three principal lines of investigation:
(1) Maritime expansion was carried forward by material, commercial, religious (in the early modern age) and strategical motives, with its actors generally following similar routes and crossing similar seas. Competition and cooperation (between sailors and rulers of territorial states) was likewise an indispensable conditon of these dynamics of exploration. (2) New empirical information was essentially handed down orally, yet could also be transmitted by merchants and sailors to be processed further by geographers and historians. The additional usage of maps remains a controversial topic with regard to antiquity. The fact that we have so few extant cartographical material in the case of the Portuguese explorations of the west coast of Africa, however, should be attributed to the confidentiality obligation of the involved actors as well as to the devastating earthquake of Lisbon in 1755. (3) It took a complex sequence to transform ethnographical information into literary forms. At first, these were recorded by captains and expedition leaders for pragmatic reasons and as a means to satisfy the demands of their employers. In a second step, this information was connected- according to the literary configurations of the time- with traditional motifs and topoi stemming from antiquity. The last step concerned the complete recomposition of a complex literary text that was now enriched with contemporary knowledge about both nautical and technological advances as well as cosmological phenomena.

Conference Programme

Ingrid Baumgärtner (Kassel, GER), Ronald Bockius (Mainz, GER), Peter Borschberg (Singapur, SIN), Peter Braun-Angott (Düsseldorf, GER), Jürgen Elvert (Köln, GER), Daniel Emmelius (Bielefeld, GER), Antje Flüchter (Bielefeld, GER), Norbert Gertz (Bielefeld, GER), Klaus Geus (Berlin, GER), Julian Gieseke (Bielefeld, GER), Yingyan Gong (Tokio, JPN), Ann-Cathrin Harders (Bielefeld, GER), Hermann Hiery (Bayreuth, GER), Maria Hiery (Bayreuth, GER), Sebastian Kolditz (Heidelberg, GER), Kirsten Kramer (Bielefeld, GER), Marie Lemser (Bielefeld, GER), Ralf Rapior (Bielefeld, GER), Dorothea Rohde (Bielefeld, GER), Duane W. Roller (Santa Fe, USA), Letitia K. Roller (Santa Fe, USA), Benjamin Scheller (Essen, GER), Angela Schottenhammer (Salzburg, AUT), Monika Schuol (Eichstätt, GER), Eivind Heldaas Seland (Bergen, NOR), Antonio Sforacchi (Bielefeld, GER), Yixuan Shen (Tokio, JPN), Simon Temme (Bielefeld, GER), Uwe Walter (Bielefeld, GER), Christian Wendt (Berlin, GER)

Please direct questions concerning the organisation of the workshop to Trixi Valentin at the Conference Office. Questions regarding scientific content and contributions should be directed to the organizers.

Tel: +49 521 106-2769
Fax: +49 521 106-152769
E-Mail: trixi.valentin@uni-bielefeld.de