Call for Papers: Conference "Putative Purities. Transcultural Dimensions of Master Narratives in Religion" Heidelberg 2-4 July, 2013

Birgit Kellner kellner at ASIA-EUROPE.UNI-HEIDELBERG.DE
Sat Jan 12 16:22:35 EST 2013


Dear colleagues, 

(apologies for cross-posting) 

The research group "Negotiating Religion in a Transcultural Framework" in Heidelberg invites abstracts for the interdisciplinary conference "Putative Purities. Transcultural Dimensions of Master Narratives in Religion", Heidelberg 2-4 July, 2013. Please send abstracts to Carolin Matjeka (cmatjeka at goodlemail) until 28 February, 2013, and kindly forward this call for papers to potentially interested colleagues. 

-- Call for Papers: Putative Purities. Transcultural Dimensions of Master Narratives in Religion" Heidelberg 2-4 July, 2013 ----

Master narratives provide collectivities with a coherent vision of their history and a sense of homogeneity. They are continually reiterated and stabilized constructions which tend to mask particularity and bias behind universalized representations of objective truth. Especially in postmodern and postcolonial critique, master narratives have been problematized in view of their homogenizing as well as exclusionary potential.

But beyond such critique, master narratives also offer a fruitful avenue to investigate dynamics involved in, and issuing from, intense cultural contact, and the possibilities of representing, performing and materializing cultural alterity in their framework.

With a view towards transcultural dimensions involved in establishing, supporting and subverting master narratives, this conference places a special focus on religion: on narratives which support, challenge or displace religious identities, on their own or possibly also in synergy with other forms of collective identity (culture, race, nation).

The conference “Putative Purities” is conceptualized and organized by the research group “Negotiating Religion in a Transcultural Framework” (MC3) of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context – the Dynamics of Transulturality” of the University of Heidelberg.

Within the above framework, we invite contributions on historical as well as contemporary aspects of master narratives, without regional restriction. Questions we envisage as fruitful starting-points for framing our inquiry include:

- Could transcultural elements – such as the arrival of religious ideas from foreign lands – be integrated into master narratives religious groups? Or did cultural alterity have to be assimilated following a logic of cultural and ethnic purity?
- How are transcultural elements and their presence negotiated in the process of the making of a master narrative? Are they blank spaces, omitted, left out, glossed over?
- How can the appropriation of foreign elements be related to the regimes of meaning-making which a group creates or perpetuates?
- Is there a difference regarding how transcultural elements can be done or performed, and how they can be told in such constitutive narratives?
- How are master narratives formed and solidified in cultural contact zones with a particularly high degree and intensity of cultural exchange?
- Are particular forms of transcultural dynamics disturbing interferences in an emerging emphasis on homogeneity?
- Is the possibility to narrate transculturality related to the scale of narrative – are more locally confined narrative constructions of group identity more open to accommodating transcultural elements than master narratives of larger (national) significance?
- By what means are master narratives made, by what strategies solidified?
- How are master narratives perpetuated and solidified through academic discourse and scholarly practice?

Although master narratives are typically understood as texts – as stories which are reproduced in writing or telling –, we also encourage contributions on praxeology and materiality, on the actualization of such narratives in artistic and ritual performance and their expression through buildings, sacred objects or images.

Please send abstracts to Carolin Matjeka (cmatjeka at goodlemail) until 28 February, 2013. 

Conference conceptualisation and organisation: 

Dr. Anna Andreeva (Japanese Studies)
PD Dr. Antje Fluechter (Early Modern History)
Prof. Dr. Birgit Kellner (Buddhist Studies, South Asia/Tibet)
Mag. Jürgen Schaflechner (Social and Cultural Anthropology, South Asia)
Dr. Davide Torri (Social and Cultural Anthropology, Himalayas)

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Prof. Dr. Birgit Kellner
Chair in Buddhist Studies
Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context - the Dynamics of Transculturality"
University of Heidelberg
Karl Jaspers Centre
Vossstraße 2, Building 4400
D-69115 Heidelberg
Phone: +49(0)6221 - 54 4301
Fax: +49(0)6221 - 54 4012
http://www.asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de/en/home.html



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