The German Federal Ministery of Education (Bmbf) funds a project lead by Prof. Dr. Ammar Abdulrahman and Dr. Jenny Oesterle: "The Middle Ages as seen from Arab Eyes. Medieval Collections in Museums in Syria, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates".


"Historians and Historical Research at Iraqi Universities. A Survey".
The German Federal Ministry of Education (Bmbf) funds a project by Bashar Ibrahim and Jenny Oesterle (both members of the Arab German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities)
[more info]


Dr. Carsten Wergin contributed a session on 'Listening Carefully' to the Radical Hope Syllabus. The group-sourced syllabus is intended as a resource for anyone interested in environmental issues - and how we, collectively and/or individually, might respond to them [more info]


Dr. Corinna Erckenbrecht (assoziiertes Mitglied der Nachwuchsforschergruppe Das transkulturelle Erbe Nordwest-Australiens) ist seit Mai 2018 neue Leiterin der Abteilung Weltkulturen und ihre Umwelt an den rem | Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim.

[mehr infos]


Dr. Jenny Rahel Oesterle und Dr. Carsten Wergin zu ihren Forschungen im Open Access Video Journal Latest Thinking:


How Can Australian Indigenous Experience Change Western Perspectives of the World?




How Does Tourism Change People and Places?



Der Ruf des Schneckenhorns
Hermann Klaatsch (1863 – 1916). Ein Heidelberger Wissenschaftler in Nordwestaustralien


[mehr info]


Russischsprachige Bevölkerung in Osteuropa – von der Titularnation zur Minderheit
Demokratische Transformation und gesellschaftliche Integration im Baltikum und in der Ukraine



[mehr info]



Water, Knowledge and the Environment in Asia
Epistemologies, Practices and Locales

Water, Knowledge and the Environment in Asia

Edited by Ravi Baghel, Lea Stepan, Joseph K.W. Hill

[more info]


Lustre: Pearling and Australia


Edited by Tanya Edwards, Sarah Yu

[more info]



Anthropology in/of Australia Past and Present

im Rahmen der Lecture Series
Introduction to Australian Studies:
(Trans-)Disciplinary Perspectives

Dr. Carsten Wergin

20 Juni 2017, University of Cologne

[more info]



The Trouble with Representation: Australian Indigenous World(view)s and the "White Magic" of Modernity

Dr. Carsten Wergin

06 April 2017, University of Western Australia

[more Info]


Curtin Indigenous Research Network Lecture Series:

Heritage, Transculturality and Collections: New Research from Germany and the Kimberley,

30 March 2017, Curtin University, Perth

[more info]


Internationaler Workshop:

"Refugee transfers in the Euro- Arab Mediterranean zone:
Tying the past with the present
Towards a transregional and transhistorical understanding in times of crises"

(10-12 April 2017 Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon)

organisiert von:

Dr. Jenny Oesterle (Research Group "Protection in Periods of Political and Religious Expansion) in cooperation with Dr. Tamirace Fakhoury (Lebanese American
University, Byblos) und der Arab German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities


Collaborations of Biocultural Hope: Community Science Against Industrialisation in Northwest Australia


Dr. Carsten Wergin

[mehr Infos]


Expansion und Aktivitäten des Mercedarier-Ordens im Andenraum des 16. Jahrhunderts

Dr. Maret Keller

Anden Diss - Keller

​(Dissertationsschrift Universität Heidelberg 2013), URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:16-heidok-187295


Dancehall und Homophobie
Postkoloniale Perspektiven auf die Geschichte und Kultur Jamaikas
Patrick HelberDancehall

​05/2015, 304 Seiten, kart.
ISBN 978-3-8376-3109-8

[weitere infos]


Materialities of Tourism
Special Issue of Tourist Studies (2014, 14/3)Guest-editors Stephen Muecke and Carsten Wergin




Caribbean Food Cultures
Culinary Practices and Consumption in the Caribbean and Its Diasporas
Food Cultures Transcript

05/2014, 306 pages,
ISBN 978-3-8376-2692-6
[for more information]

Press Review



The database's aim is to provide a platform for the storing of all the data that was stored prior in cue card systems, i.e. prosopographical data, places, events, literature and excerpts, textual sources and excerpts, objects and pictures.


About Us

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The Venue

Our conference will take place in the “Hochschule für Jüdische Studien” in the centre of Heidelberg. For further information please visit their website:

Heidelberg Practicalities

General Information

This website provides relevant information for all kinds for visitors and is available in several languages.  


Getting around: Public Transport

You may find Heidelberg compact enough to just walk, however, if you want to find out how to get from A to Z, this might help you:  


Union in Separation

Trading Diasporas in the Eastern Mediterranean (1200-1700)

Anonymous Venetian Orientalist Painting _the Reception Of The Ambassadors In Damascus _ 1511 _the Louvre


University of Heidelberg, 17-19 February 2011

International Conference


“Union in Separation” is a three-day international conference hosted by the Transcultural Studies Programme at the University of Heidelberg. The conference focuses on transcultural diasporic communities in the medieval Mediterranean with specific respect to their role in trade between perceived separate cultural areas.

The term “transculturality” tends to be used to designate the hybrid character of modern-day societies and to ultimately argue that separate cultural units (defined as the sum of elements that characterise the aggregate identity of a society) do not exist. However, regardless of whether it is possible to speak of separate ‘cultures’, they certainly persist in peoples’ mind. These mindsets, their making and their impact on societies is what historians should investigate.

The study of Mediterranean diasporas lends itself well to this endeavour, as it allows to understand the construction and deconstruction of cultural differences as well as the potential integration into a host culture. In order to analyse these processes, we suggest exploring commercial exchange and its legal framework as two interrelated phenomena.

Medieval Mediterranean trading diasporas, such as Venetian merchants resident in Mamluk Alexandria, operated both within and outside formal legal structures. However, their status as religious minorities also posed strong challenges to their business. For instance, far-reaching privileges granted by the Sultan to Christian merchants coexisted with, and were frequently challenged by, orthodox Islamic law or local legal practice. Thus, a primary interest of historical transcultural research is to gather evidence on informal mechanisms that facilitated trade-given cultural hurdles. This will shed light on the form and scope of cultural exchange.

The conference will bring together academics from a wide variety of fields, including medieval studies, economic history, legal history, and cultural studies.

Program and abstracts


Public Lectures


Keynote Lecture

Thursday, February 17th, 7pm

Alte Aula, Universität Heidelberg, Grabengasse 1

Listen to audio recording of Prof. Arbel's speech
(right click to save mp3-file)

Benjamin Arbel: “Mediterranean Jewish Diasporas and the Bill of Exchange: Coping with a Foreign Financial Instrument (16 th -17th centuries)”

Renowned scholar Benjamin Arbel from Tel Aviv University will analyse Jewish Diaspora groups in the 16th and 17th centuries and how they adopted the theoretically forbidden cambio system despite religious hindrances. His presentation will herald a number of intriguing presentations on diaspora groups in the Eastern Mediterranean from 1200-1700.

Having explored Cyprus during the Venetian period, Arbel extended his research on Venice and its “colonies” in the Eastern Mediterranean and the interaction between the Muslim Levant and the Christian East in general. His research distinguishes itself through its strong focus on transcultural interaction and the combined use of Arabic and European sources.

Arbel’s latest research interests include the relationship between man and animal in history.



Panel discussion

Friday, February 18th, 6pm

Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Karlstraße 4


The Uncanny Charm of the Other. Old diasporas – new diasporas: challenges of integration.

In an attempt to connect historical research with up-to-date questions facing contemporary European societies, we suggest exploring integration in the framework of a panel discussion that joins academics and opinion leaders. The debate will be centred around the following questions:

1.      What do we mean by integration, what could be a neutral definition of integration in a historical perspective? Can we see “integration” as opposed to “parallelism”?

2.      Which incentives drove individuals to interact with their foreign neighbours?

3.      Is it generally inappropriate to treat “integration” as depending on an individual’s willpower rather than on their social and cultural backgrounds? What role does the host society play?

The aim is to discuss the mechanisms of integration from a historical point of view and to apply the findings on contemporary societies.



Universität Heidelberg

Transcultural Studies

Marstallstraße 6

69117 Heidelberg

Seitenbearbeiter: E-Mail
Letzte Änderung: 21.09.2011