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Flows of Images and Media between Cultures

1 10 2009
Annual conference of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”

The 2009 annual conference of the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” is dedicated to the significance of images in cultural exchange processes. The conference on the global exchange of images and media is entitled “Bilder und Medien im globalen Austausch – Flows of Images and Media” and takes place from 7 to 9 October at the Universität Heidelberg. Internationally renowned experts and young academics will be taking a variety of perspectives on the challenges posed by the transcultural dissemination of images and media.

Just how emotional responses to images disseminated within and between cultures can be was brought home to the world with a vengeance in 2005 by the publication of caricatures of Mohammed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. “For some they were an expression of freedom of opinion, for others they were an instance of humiliating religious vilification,” says Dr. Christiane Brosius, professor of visual and media anthropology at the “Asia and Europe” cluster. “The heated debate in the subsequent months culminated in embassy closures, flag-burning and even killings.” Dr. Brosius has devised and planned the conference together with Dr. Roland Wenzlhuemer (Universität Heidelberg).

Prof. Brosius: “Although there is widespread awareness of the significance of images in cultural exchange processes and historical events, research on this phenomenon still occupies a marginal position in the humanities.” The Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” is running a number of research projects investigating various aspects of this topic. Like the cluster itself, the annual conference is interdisciplinary in nature, with papers from experts on art history, history, anthropology and regional studies.

Two renowned experts on visual culture and art will be holding the public evening lectures taking place during the conference. On Wednesday, 7 October, Prof. Dr. Sarat Maharaj (University of London/Lund University) will be speaking on “Pandemonium Asia: Shifts and Surges in the Flow of Images, Media and Info-Data” in the Great Hall of the Old University (Grabengasse 1). The lecture begins at 7 p.m. The title Prof. Dr. Nicholas Mirzoeff (New York University) has given his lecture on Thursday, 8 October is “The Flow and the Flood: Mediation, Migration, Circulation and Climate Change”. This time the venue is the “Spiegelsaal” of the Palais Prinz Carl (Kornmarkt 1). Professor Mirzoeff’s lecture also starts at 7 p.m. Both talks will be in English.

Interested members of the public are also invited to attend the annual conference. They are requested to register beforehand. The full programme and further information can be found on the internet at

Iris Mucha
Cluster “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”
phone: +49 6221 544008

Communications and Marketing
Public Information Office
phone: +49 6221 542311

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