Transcultural Studies

http://www.transculturalstudies.org
Transcultural Studies is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal committed to promoting the knowledge and research of transculturality. Transcultural Studies aims to function as a forum for research on cultural, social, and regional formations that have been constituted and transformed through extensive contacts with other regions and cultures.

List of Papers (Total 100)

To Embrace or to Contest Urban Regeneration? Ambiguities of Artistic and Social Practice in Contemporary Johannesburg

Johannesburg inner city has undergone major changes in the last twenty-five years, a process keenly observed, commented and negotiated by many local artists. The transitional years can be summarized by two phases in urban policy, the discourses of which are coined by urban ‘decay’ marked by informal practices in the first years of transition in the 1990s, and ‘urban regeneration...

"Dividing up the [Chinese] Melon, guafen 瓜分": The Fate of a Transcultural Metaphor in the Formation of National Myth

This study sets out to join a discussion which tests a number of assumptions current in the study of conceptual history. These assumptions are: Conceptual history can only be studied within a given language; concepts are articulated in abstract words, and other forms such as metaphors only serve to explain, but have no standing of their own; the sources for conceptual history are...

The Violence Curtain: Occupied Afghan Turkestan and the Making of a Central Asian Borderscape

This article examines the history of Soviet-Afghan encounters in northern Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. Drawing on archival materials from the former Soviet Union as well as recently published memoir collections by Soviet border guards, it shows how during the 1980s, northern Afghanistan was subjected to a unique regime of degraded sovereignty. While all regions of...

Territorialisation, Ambivalence, and Representational Spaces in Gilgit-Baltistan

The article unveils the complexities of spatiality in the Kashmir borderland with reference to the problem of spatial conceptualisation of South Asian disputed border zones. It focuses on processes of territorialisation (new meanings of territorial control) in Gilgit-Baltistan, a territory under the control of Pakistan but associated with the Kashmir dispute. Through the...

Weapon of the Discontented? Trans-River Migration as Tax Avoidance Practice and Lever in Eastern Bukhara

Until the early twentieth century, the border formed between contemporary Tajikistan and Afghanistan by the River Panj/Amu Darya was relatively easily traversable, even for larger groups of people with bulk loads and animals. Migration from one bank to the other was frequent and family units in riparian areas often had members on both sides of the river. Migration, especially...

Mediating Mobile Traditions: The Tablighi Jama'at and the International Islamic University between Pakistan and Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan)

This paper will discuss how Muslim networks from South Asia contributed to the reconstruction of religious, cultural, and social belonging as they created new modes and formats of regional interaction and connectivity with actors and institutions in Post-Soviet Central Asia. This will be shown here on the examples of the activities of the conservative preaching groups of the...

Ukiyo-e between Pop Art and (Trans)cultural Appropriation: On the Art of Muhamed Kafedžić (Muha)

This article is based on a curatorial study of Muhamed Kafedžić’s oeuvre and our collaboration between 2012 and 2015. The work examines the paintings of the Sarajevo-based artist and questions the meaning and applicability of cultural appropriation theories to his work. The goal is to present a complex procedure of the appropriation of processes and styles in art history, usingin...

The Reception of Max Weber’s Cubist Poems (1914) in Taishō Japan

In this paper, I will analyze the Japanese reception of Cubist Poems, a collection of experimental poetry published in 1914 by the Jewish-American painter Max Weber (1881‒1961). First, I will provide information on this little-known collection and its author. Then I will offer a general description of the structure of the field of cultural production in 1910s and 1920s Tokyo, a...

Engaged Ephemeral Art: Street Art and the Egyptian Arab Spring

The wave of uprisings known as the Arab Spring that swept over the Middle East and North Africa from December 2010 to early 2013 left its imprint on political and social life in the countries concerned. This ephemeral moment also marked a change in various forms of artistic expression. Street art, graffiti, and calligraffiti are among the most striking art forms of this short...

Local Agency in Global Movements: Negotiating Forms of Buddhist Cosmopolitanism in the Young Men’s Buddhist Associations of Darjeeling and Kalimpong

The Young Men’s Buddhist Association (YMBA), founded in Ceylon in 1898, was one of many Buddhist socio-cultural organisations established between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that imagined Buddhism as a global religion, compatible with colonial modernity and its educational, recreational, and religious goals. However, the YMBA functioned differently in its...

Global Encounters, Local Places: Connected Histories of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and the Himalayas—An Introduction

Darjeeling and Kalimpong, British imperial towns in the eastern Himalayan borderlands at the juncture of Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet, played a vital yet under-studied role as transcultural hubs of a hybrid modernity. This themed section explores “connected histories,” paying particular attention to these Himalayan towns as a modern crossroads for empires...

A Space That Has Been Laboured on: Mobile Lives and Transcultural Circulation around Darjeeling and the Eastern Himalayas

The Himalayas had long been a dynamic, yet geographically remote and ecologically challenging space of spiritual significance and cultural flux for Asian borderland peoples and mountain cultures. From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, imperial policies, colonial explorations, labouring migrations, plantation capital, commodity trades, and a unique pattern of urban morphology...

Art as Refuge: Jewish Publishers as Cultural Brokers in Early 1920s Russian Berlin

The past twenty years have seen a renewed interest in the academic study of the history and culture of Eastern European Jewry. This upsurge was supported by the availability of new source material and the application of innovative media for electronic data storage and retrieval. At the same time, the field of textual studies broadened to include the study of context, and new...

Translating Tibet in the Borderlands: Networks, Dictionaries, and Knowledge Production in Himalayan Hill Stations

British India’s imperial projects took a “Tibetan turn” in the hill-stations of Darjeeling and Kalimpong in the late nineteenth century. These small, tightly packed places were global pinch points that offered a multitude of people, including British officers, Scottish missionaries, explorers from Japan, Germany, Mongolia, and plains India, Ukrainian spiritual seekers, and...

On the Threshold of the "Land of Marvels:" Alexandra David-Neel in Sikkim and the Making of Global Buddhism

Alexandra David-Neel had already been acquainted with the Himalayas for a long time before the visits to Tibet in 1924 that would make her a mainstream figure of modern Buddhism. In fact, her encounter with Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism can be linked with Sikkim, where she arrived in 1912 after visiting India. An exploration of her Sikkim stay invites us to reconsider the self...

The People’s Choice: Transcultural Collectivity and the Art of Shared Knowledge Production

This article analyses the exhibition The People’s Choice (Arroz con Mango), which was curated by the artistic collective Group Material and on view in New York City in 1981. The project is of peculiar relevance with regard to questions of transcultural knowledge production, because the artists asked the predominantly Spanish-speaking residents of the neighborhood where the...

Republic of Letters Comes to Nagasaki: Record of a Translator’s Struggle

The essay is framed by the story of an early translation of the metaphorical expression “republic of letters” into an East Asian language. The story itself—reconstructed from primary archival materials—is then used as an illustration of the processes of transmission, translation, and communication that brought into existence something like a republic of letters on a Eurasia-wide...

“Re-thinking Artistic Knowledge Production: Global Media Cultures—Distributed Creativity.” An Introduction

An introduction to the section, “Re-thinking Artistic Knowledge Production: Global Media Cultures—Distributed Creativity,” which features two contributions chosen from a symposium with the same title that took place May 23‒24, 2013 based on a collaboration between members of the DFG research network “Medien der kollektiven Intelligenz” (2011–2014, University of Konstanz) and...