Global Experience in European Texts

Global Experience in European Texts

Barend Noordam and Gauri Parasher Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows’, Junior Research Group A9 "Cultural Transfer as a Factor of State Building"; University of Heidelberg
From - Until
12.11.2010 - 13.11.2010
Gauri Parasher

In the course of transcultural research, scholars often have to deal with accounts of different cultures as primary sources. Given the significant increase in the importance of transcultural research, interpretation of primary sources related to cultural accounts, particularly travel writing, has seen new light. Thus, an increasing need is felt to effectively bring into focus the methodological aspects of analyzing primary sources and to elaborate source interpretation that reflects recent theoretical developments. Taking this as a starting point, Barend Noordam and Gauri Parasher, members of the Junior Research Group A9, Cultural Transfer as a Factor of State-Building under the supervision of Dr Antje Flüchter and part of the Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows’ at the University of Heidelberg, will conduct a two-day workshop devoted to the interpretation of primary sources that describe foreign cultures. This workshop aims to bring together examples and practices of interpreting European texts on Asia that serve as primary sources to present day researchers. The purpose is to compare how different primary sources related to cultural accounts – any piece of writing that reflects one’s experience in a foreign country – such as memoirs, diaries, letters, auto-biographies, diplomatic reports, travelogues are analysed, interpreted and used by a researcher. The focus lies on the methodological aspects and theoretical framework of source interpretation. We aim to bring together seasoned scholars and graduate students to share their insights and problems in a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas related to reading and interpreting primary sources. Participants are invited to submit examples of various source genres describing other cultures and how they proceed to incorporate them in their research. The individual contributions will then be subject to a group discussion, enabling participants to learn from each other’s approach to source criticism and thus, providing them with an introduction to different source genres used in the writing of history.

All interested candidates are requested to send a sample of their source genre and an abstract of their paper detailing the methodology employed for interpreting the primary text to Gauri Parasher ( by 31st August 2010.


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Barend Noordam

Voßstrasse 2, Building 4400
69115 Heidelberg
+49 (0) 6221-54 43 19
+49 (0) 6221-54 40 12

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