[INDOLOGY] H-ASIA: CFP Conference on Max Mueller, London Apr 16-18, 2015

Frank Conlon conlon at u.washington.edu
Tue Mar 11 21:16:13 UTC 2014

March 11, 2014

Call for papers: Copnference on Max Mueller, "Friedrich Max
Mueller and the Role of Philology in Victorian Thought" London,
April 16-18, 2015
From: H-Net Announcements <announce at MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU>

Conference on Max Mueller, London, April 2015

Location: United Kingdom
Conference Date: 2014-04-30
Date Submitted: 2014-03-04
Announcement ID: 211964



An International Conference at the German Historical Institute, 
London, 16-18 April 2015

Collaborating institutions:

Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations,
Queen Mary University of London
English Goethe Society
German Historical Institute, London


Friedrich Max Mueller (1823-1900) was one of the most well known 
academics in Victorian Britain. His popular writings enjoyed a wide 
readership and acclaim. His public lectures were sell-out events.  He 
was a prominent figure in the popularisation of evolutionary thinking 
before Darwin. His theories regarding the origins and development of 
language served to create a public fascination with the past, with 
legend and with myth.  His public role in the contexts of imperialism 
and British understanding of the cultures of the Indian subcontinent 
brought him notoriety. Good-looking, witty and gifted, Max Mueller 
was, for many outside academe, the embodiment of the German Professor 
and a forerunner of todays media-savvy academic.

Max Mueller's scholarship is often seen as an important contribution to 
Victorian knowledge.  When studied today, Max Muellers works offer 
remarkable insights into the preoccupations and parameters of 
Victorian intellectual life. His translation of ancient Sanskrit 
scripts was inherently ground-breaking and monumental. His work was 
absorbed not just by academics but also by an influential 
cross-section of the Victorian elite. His findings helped raise the 
profile of so-called Oriental cultures in Britain, as well as 
inspiring interest in philology, a discipline that enjoyed a peculiar 
popularity and strategic position in Victorian Britain. Max Muellers 
contribution to the development of philology intellectually and 
through personal intervention was significant. Yet his influence can 
only be understood through an interdisciplinary lens.  Philology 
intersected with theology and with the academic study of religion, key 
areas of sensitive importance in Victorian Britain. It also overlapped 
with literary scholarship, philosophy, anthropology, and evolutionary 
thinking in the natural sciences. The first President of the English 
Goethe Society, Max Mueller actively fostered interdisciplinary 
discourse. Seen broadly, his scholarship made an important 
contribution to the dissemination of German-style historicism in 
Victorian intellectual life.

Historically, Max Mueller's personal life is highly significant. 
Through his father, the Romantic poet Wilhelm Mueller, and through his 
studies Max Mueller was on personal terms with the leading German 
intellectuals of the time. Identified by the Prussian Ambassador, 
Bunsen, as an important catalyst of intellectual exchange, Max Mueller 
came to occupy a position of significance in Anglo-German cultural 
relations and Victorian life in general, even if his position as a 
German-born Professor at Oxford carried with it challenges of 
integration and cultural acceptance. He corresponded widely with 
prominent and important figures, including Charles Darwin and William 
Gladstone, and became a favourite guest of Queen Victoria.  He was 
related by marriage to both J.A. Froude and Charles Kingsley. His 
scholarship and public engagement in imperial matters extended his 
impact abroad. His high profile campaigning for better understanding 
of Indian culture in Europe has left its mark: Goethe Institutes in 
India today are known as Max Mueller Bhavan.

Despite being credited with significance in many fields of Victorian 
intellectual and public life, Max Muellers life and work have not been 
subjected to sufficient scholarly attention. The relatively recent 
biography by Lourens P. van den Bosch (Friedrich Max Mueller: A Life 
Devoted to the Humanities, 2002) has provided an excellent overview 
that should now enable more detailed evaluations of Max Mueller's 
contributions to many facets of intellectual life. By necessity, such 
evaluations must be biographical, historical and interdisciplinary. 
The proposed conference will therefore bring together academics from a 
range of disciplines. It seeks to recapture, and evaluate 
comprehensively and rigorously, Friedrich Max Muellers significance 
personally, intellectually, and publicly.


Contributions are sought relating to the following provisional panel 

Biography; political and intellectual context; research questions;

Max Mueller's position within philology; Max Mueller and philology as 
a discipline in Britain in the nineteenth century;

Max Muelle's religious position; his influence upon Victorian 
religious discourse and his founding of religious studies as an 
academic discipline in the United Kingdom;

Max Mueller and nineteenth-century thinking on evolution; Max Mueller 
and Darwin;

Max Mueller's influence upon nineteenth-century anthropology;

Max Mueller's influence on the theory of myth;

*Translation and Sanskrit Studies*
Max Mueller and the craft of the translator; Max Mllers impact on 
Sanskrit research in Britain and internationally;

Max Mueller's engagement with British imperialism and imperial policy; 
Max Mueller and the history of British imperialism in India; Max 
Mueller in relation to current debates about imperialism, 
intercultural relations and interreligious dialogue.

The conference proceedings will be considered for publication in a 
special issue of the journal of the English Goethe Society 
(Publications of the English Goethe Society).

John R. Davis (Kingston University), Email: j.davis at kingston.ac.uk
Angus Nicholls (Queen Mary University of London), Email: 
a.j.nicholls at qmul.ac.uk

Abstracts of 500 words should be sent to either of the conference 
convenors by 30 April 2014.

Dr. Angus Nicholls
Dept of German
Queen Mary University of London
London UK, E1 4NS
Phone: +44 207 882 2683
Email: a.j.nicholls at qmul.ac.uk

H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to 
us as a free service to the academic community. If you are 
interested in an announcement listed here, please contact 
the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive to 
provide accurate information, H-Net (and H-ASIA)cannot 
accept responsibility for the text of announcements 
appearing in this service.

   Send comments and questions to H-Net Webstaff:
          <webstaff at mail.h-net.msu.edu>.

      H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online
          Humanities & Social Sciences Online
       Hosted by Matrix at Michigan State University
               Copyright (c) 1995-2014

        To post to H-ASIA  simply send your message to:
                   <H-ASIA at h-net.msu.edu>
          For holidays or short absences send post to:
             <listserv at h-net.msu.edu> with message:
                        SET H-ASIA NOMAIL
       Upon return, send post with message SET H-ASIA MAIL
     H-ASIA WEB HOMEPAGE URL: <http://h-net.msu.edu/~asia/>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list