Done with Eurocentrism? Directions, Diversions, and Debates in History and Sociology
Welcome to the Annual Seminar 2016
Dear participants and guests,
We are pleased to welcome you to the 8th Annual Seminar of the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS). Thank you for joining us in Bielefeld and for your exciting contributions to your conference!
Our topic this year is Done with Eurocentrism? Directions, Diversions, and Debates in History and Sociology. Even in actively centrifugal and anti-hegemonic approaches, Europe has sustained its rather invisible power as the norm with which other thoughts, other definitions, other practices, other forms of knowledge, other temporalities, and other spatialities are compared. The aim of this year's Annual Seminar is to revive the dialogue between different strands of research and platforms for examining our trajectories away from Eurocentrism. We seek to engage doctoral and junior scholars in fruitful conversations about their approaches, methods and empirical findings for re-mapping the world into account for a wider range of standards, needs, practices, values, and concerns and invite analysis of what this de-centralization process has achieved, or failed to achieve.
Our programme consists of six panel sessions for the discussion of individual contributions, four keynotes by distinguished researchers and an Art&Science project - the photo exhibition Art Begins in Streets. Art Lives in Streets. For these stimulating events, we especially welcome and thank Shahzad Bashir (Stanford), Angelika Epple (Bielefeld), Hsuan L. Hsu (California), Aram Ziai (Kassel, canceled), and Wilfried Raussert (Bielefeld).
We are looking forward to exciting presentations and keynotes and to vibrant discussions with you!
The organising committee of the Annual Seminar 2016 Left to right: Junchen Yan, Mahshid Mayar, Yaatsil Guevara, Marius Meinhof
Programme (updated version)
Updated brochure as PDF (02 July 2016)
Thursday, 30 June 2016
Moderator: Marius Meinhof
Angelika Epple is professor of modern history and vice-president for international affairs and diversity at Bielefeld University. Her most recent publication, within the frame of her research interests in history of globalizations and practices of comparison, include an anthology co-edited with Walter Erhart and a book chapter where she proposes for a 'practice turn' in global history.
Chair: Daniel Siemens
- Julia Roth (Bielefeld University, Germany): Feminism Otherwise: Intersectionality beyond Occidentalism
- Philipp Bernhard (University of Augsburg, Germany): Perspectives for History Teaching beyond Eurocentrism
- Anita Misra Shukla (Government Postgraduate College Noida, India): Studying the Indian Society in Western Way: Evaluating the Theoretical Models Adopted by Indian Sociologist
- Beate Löffler (EAST School of Advanced Studies of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany): Petrified Worldviews. Eurocentristic Legacy in Academic Knowledge Bases
Chair: Heinrich W. Schäfer
- Luis Manuel Hernández Aguilar & Zubair Ahmad (Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Freie Universität Berlin, Germany): Of Eurocentric Orders and Divisions: Reflections on "Race" and "Religion"
- Luke Forbes (Independent Scholar, Essen, Germany): Dancing Indigeneity: Representations of Australian and Indigenous Australian Identity and Culture in Dance Performance and Dance Historical Texts
- Thien-Huong T. Ninh (California Polytechnic State University, USA):Turning Away from Eurocentrism: Transnational Orientation toward Religion and Ethnicity
- Tathagato Ganguly (University of Hyderabad, India): The Concept of "Indigenous Peoples": Eurocentrism Redux
Friday, 1 July 2016
Moderator: Yaatsil Guevara
Shahzad Bashir is the Lysbeth Warren Anderson Professor in Islamic Studies at Stanford University. His most recent book is entitled Sufi Bodies: Religion and Society in Medieval Islam (2011). He is currently completing a book entitled Islamic Pasts and Futures: Explorations in the Meanings of History
Chair: Antje Flüchter
- Marina Rudyak (Heidelberg University, Germany): Why Words Matter: Understanding the Black Box of Chinese Foreign Aid
- Juan Manuel Delgado Rascón (Rey Juan Carlos University, Spain): Alternative Approaches to International Development Agenda
- Pilar Ramírez Gröbli (University of Bern, Switzerland): Cultural Meanings of Nature: Local Identities and Empowerment Practices in the Context of Agrofuel Production. The Case of Colombia
Chair: Anne Friedrichs
- Daniel Palm (Bremen International Graduate School for Social Sciences, Germany):Narratives on 1989: Towards a Global Perspective by Comparing Protests in Leipzig and Beijing
- Hendrikje Grunow (University of Konstanz, Germany): Being Conscious of One?s Past: An Approach to Historical Learning in a Non-European Context
- Mirko Petersen (Bielefeld University, Germany): Beyond Bipolarity? Rise and Fall of the Argentine Third Position (1947?1950)
Moderator: Mahshid Mayar
Hsuan L. Hsu is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Geography and Production of Space in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Sitting in Darkness: Mark Twain?s Asia and Comparative Radicalization. He is currently researching connections between olfactory aesthetics and environmental risk.
"Walking the city is like reading a book, watching a film or participating in a performance of everyday urban life. Changing sides of the street is like turning the page, changing the sequence or changing the slide. Capturing all that which moves rapidly, all that which arrives and departs within seconds through the lens of your camera is a visual form of urban storytelling. The street that welcomed you yesterday with a mural of urban nature in forms of city trees, plants, and flowers may greet you the next day with a mural of political protest or urban decay. Like the traffic at rush hour of the contemporary metropolis the urban street art seems to change its appearance at times at the speed of light. Every day new images appear and new stories unfold to the alert walker of the city. The images in this exhibit are momentary glimpses into the street life of cities in the Americas like Lima in Peru, Guadalajara in Mexico, Toronto and Ottawa in Canada, and New York and San Francisco in the USA. The photographs exhibited are snapshots of the momentary encounter of the painted city with the passing dweller, visitor or tourist. They intend to unfold new stories, as street mural art is reframed in a new context of everyday life practice." (Wilfried Raussert)
Wilfried Raussert is chair of North American and Inter-American Studies at Bielefeld University. For him, scholarship in literary and cultural studies and artistic activity are not strange bedfellows. On the contrary, they represent a reciprocal source of inspiration. Walking the cities in South and North America, for the photographer, is a physical as well as a semiotic journey. Reading the colorful signs on the walls, in the streets, and connecting them with the urban dweller passing by, he uses photography as a medium to create new urban narratives. To the artist, art begins in the streets and art lives in the streets. His favorite art galleries and living museums are the streets in cities like Guadalajara, New York City, Toronto, Ottawa, and Lima. Through the lens of the camera, the city becomes a canvas against which the intersection of mural, graffiti, image, and the human body and face unfold stories. So he hopes.
Saturday, 2 July 2016 - updated programme
Chair: Yedan Li
- Mirjam Hähnle (University of Basel, Switzerland): Knowledge about the "Orient" between Voice and Scripture: The Expedition to Felix Arabia (1761?67)
- Oleksandr Svyetlov (Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Ukraine): Eurocentrism as a Model for Post-Colonial Ukraine?
Moderator: Junchen Yan
Chair: Tobias Reu
- Susanne Schultz & Almamy Sylla (Bielefeld University, Germany; Institut Supérieur de Formation et de Recherche Appliquée de Bamako (ISFRA), Mali): Deportation of Malians from African Countries: The Missing Link
- Fabio Santos (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany): Re-mapping Europe: Fieldnotes from the French-Brazilian Border
- Hannah Schilling (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany): Working with Concepts: Conceptualizing Work
Media and Documentation
Welcome Address and Introduction by the organizers
Keynote Lecture: Angelika Epple (Bielefeld University): Modernity and Eurocentrism: Twin Sisters Revisited
Participants of the Annual Seminar 2016
Panel 1 - Eurocentrism and the Academy
Keynote Lecture: Shahzad Bashir (Stanford University, USA): Eurocentrism and Islam: Space, Time, and the Intellectual Politics of Cultural Essentialism
Coffee break in the BGHS lounge
Panel 4: Memories, Discourses, and Narratives
Keynote Lecture: Hsuan L. Hsu (University of California, Davis, USA): Geographies of Risk: Environmental Violence and the Global South
Art&Science project: Art Begins in Streets. Art Lives in Streets. An Exhibition of Photos by Wilfried Raussert (Bielefeld University) and Reception
Photos by Thomas Abel/BGHS
In the Media
About the Poster
Since the Age of Enlightenment and for well over a century in the academy, Europe has been the more-or-less exclusive provider of the vocabulary, the imagery, the objects, the language, the legal infrastructure, the 'geopolitical imaginary', and the geographical directions in everyday life to make sense of ourselves, our passage through time, and our surroundings. Embedded into the poster of the 8th BGHS Annual Seminar to dispute the spatial dimension of Eurocentric perspectives of the world, this map of the world by al-Idrisi offers a view of the known world in the 12th century. Bringing together an Arab cartographer's world geography knowledge to the court of a Venetian king, the map bears witness to an era before the Enlightenment when the so-called '0rient' and 'Occident' exchanged, expanded, and negotiated the borders of knowledge in different ways than our contemporary pre-dominantly ?northern? perspectives imply. Though focused on the mathematical representations of the known world in cartographic terms, this map/poster is hoped to trigger curiosity as to what world(s) we reside and navigate in our academic and everyday pursuits, to challenge our homogenized spatial perceptions of the world maps where Europe stands at the center top, and to initiate discussions and debates about current historical and sociological understandings of the world beyond and yet including Europe.
The Organising Committee
The organising committee of the 8th BGHS Annual Seminar (from left to right):
Junchen Yan, Mahshid Mayar, Yaatsil Guevara, Marius Meinhof (Photo: BGHS)