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Systematische Zugänge zu einem kulturellen Prinzip des Mittelalters
Imitation und Mimesis sind epochenübergreifende Kulturphänomene. Doch wie erkennt, analysiert oder bewertet man das Imitieren im Mittelalter? Der Band präsentiert unterschiedliche fachdisziplinäre Methoden und Ansätze und erläutert diese an einschlägigen Beispielen. Imitieren kann für das Mittelalter als bislang unterschätzte, höchst komplexe Kulturtechnik angesehen werden, deren Potential nicht nur darin lag, Traditionen zu konservieren, sondern durchaus Innovationen hervorzubringen.
Machiavelli’s Art of War and the Fortune of the Militia in Sixteenth-Century Florence and Europe
How did the evolution of new gunpowder weapons change the nature, structure and composition of the Florentine militias during the first decades of the sixteenth century? Via an examination of little-known and unpublished sources, this book provides a comparative exploration of two Florentine republican experiments with a peasant militia: one promoted and created by Niccolò Machiavelli (1506-12) and a later one (1527-30). Using this comparison as the basis for a new reading of Machiavelli’s Art of War (which drew on the author's experience with the militia), the book then investigates the relationship between the circulation and reception of Machiavelli’s influential work, changing conceptions of militia, and the formation of new cultures of warfare in Europe in the sixteenth century.
A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography introduces and contextualizes the culture of Byzantine letter-writing from various socio-historical, material and literary angles. While this culture was long regarded as an ivory-tower pastime of intellectual elites, the eighteen essays in this volume, authored by leading experts in the field, show that epistolography had a vital presence in many areas of Byzantine society, literature and art. The chapters offer discussions of different types of letters and intersections with non-epistolary genres, their social functions as media of communication and performance, their representations in visual and narrative genres, and their uses in modern scholarship. The volume thus contributes to a more nuanced understanding of letter-writing in the Byzantine Empire and beyond.

Contributors are: Thomas Johann Bauer, Alexander Beihammer, Floris Bernard, Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis, Carolina Cupane, Niels Gaul, Cecily J. Hilsdale, Sofia Kotzabassi, Florin Leonte, Divna Manolova, Stratis Papaioannou, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Alexander Riehle, Jack Tannous, Lena Wahlgren-Smith.
Rupture and Continuity in Modern Chinese Detective Fiction (1896–1949)
In Detecting Chinese Modernities: Rupture and Continuity in Modern Chinese Detective Fiction (1896–1949), Yan Wei historicizes the two stages in the development of Chinese detective fiction and discusses the rupture and continuity in the cultural transactions, mediation, and appropriation that occurred when the genre of detective fiction traveled to China during the first half of the twentieth century. Wei identifies two divergent, or even opposite strategies for appropriating Western detective fiction during the late Qing and the Republican periods. She further argues that these two periods in the domestication of detective fiction were also connected by shared emotions. Both periods expressed ambivalent and sometimes contradictory views regarding Chinese tradition and Western modernity.
Robert Lachmann’s letters to Henry George Farmer (from 1923-38) provide insightful glimpses into his life and his progressive research projects. From an historical perspective, they offer critical data concerning the development of comparative musicology as it evolved in Germany during the early decades of the twentieth century. The fact that Lachmann sought contact with Farmer can be explained from their mutual, yet diverse interests in Arab music, particularly as they were then considered to be the foremost European scholars in the field. During the 1932 Cairo International Congress on Arab Music, they were selected as presidents of their respective committees.
Thanks to Renzo Duin’s annotated translation, the voice of Lodewijk Schmidt—an Afrodiasporic Saramakka Maroon from Surinam—is finally available for Anglophone audiences worldwide. More than anything else, Schmidt’s three mid-twentieth-century ethnographic accounts tell the tragic story of Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands (northern Brazil, and southern Suriname and French Guiana). Schmidt’s is a story that takes account of the pathological mechanisms of colonialism, in which Indigenous Peoples and African Diaspora communities, both victims of colonialism, vilify each other falling privy to the divide-and-conquer mentality mechanisms of colonialism.

Accounts like that of the death and mourning of a magnificent Indigenous leader, Alapité, on 13-14 August 1941, suggest a deep respect on the part of the Maroon author, while his accounts also show his awareness of how the Indigenous Peoples vilified the Maroons. Beyond the ethnographic element, Duin argues that Schmidt was sent on a covert mission to determine whether or not the Nazis had engaged in covert missions and if they had established bases and airfields in the region.

As current ecological disasters, incurred by neocolonial, neoliberal and geopolitical practices, threaten to completely destroy the Amazonian forests that Schmidt describes, his meticulous accounts underscore the predetermined tragedy that is the result of the European and later North-American presence in present-day Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil. Duin’s profound knowledge of the history, topography, and fauna of the region contextualizes Schmidt’s ethnographic accounts and forces us to take account of the catastrophe that is deforestation and ethnocide of the Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Guiana Highlands.
The collection Imperial Middlebrow, edited by Christoph Ehland and Jana Gohrisch, takes middlebrow studies further in two ways. First, it focuses on the role middlebrow writing played in the popularisation and dissemination of imperial ideology. It combines the interest in the wider function of literature for a colonial society with close scrutiny of the ideological and socio-economic contexts of writers and readers. The essays cover the Girl’s Own Paper, fiction about colonial India including its appearance in Scottish writing, the West Indies, the South Pacific, as well as illustrations of Haggard’s South African imperial romances. Second, the volume proposes using the concept of the middlebrow as an analytical tool to read recent black and Asian British as well as Nigerian fiction.
The Poetics and Politics of Hospitality in U.S. Literature and Culture explores hospitality in a range of cultural expressions from a variety of approaches. The authors analyze and discuss forms of hospitality in canonical literature, ethnic literatures, language or movies. These span from the classical to the contemporary and include a focus on language, power, hybridism, and sociology. The common theme in these contributions is that of American identity. By looking at a diversity of representations of American culture, using a multiplicity of approaches, the authors convey the richness of American hospitality as a vital aspect of its culture.
Kulturtransfer im europäischen Raum
Welche Spuren haben die russischen Revolutionen von 1917 in Deutschland und dem übrigen Europa hinterlassen? In diesem Band begeben sich WissenschaftlerInnen verschiedener Disziplinen auf die Suche.
Im Mittelpunkt stehen Fragen nach Transferprozessen, Vermittelnden, Netzwerken, Aufnahmekontexten, Adaptionen bis hin zu (kollektiven) Identitätsbildungsprozessen. Wie werden revolutionäre politische Ideen oder ästhetische Konzepte und Kunstauffassungen nach Westeuropa vermittelt, durch welche Medien oder Akteure? Wie und in welchen Kreisen werden diese Ideen und Diskurse europaweit aufgenommen? Darüber hinaus wird gefragt, inwiefern sich diese Transferprozesse auf Konstruktionen nationaler bzw. kultureller Identitäten oder Identitätszuschreibungen auswirkten. Wie transformierten sich beispielsweise Zuschreibungen an „Russland“ und „Russen“ im Zuge der Revolutionsereignisse aus deutscher Perspektive?
Chinese Visions of Progress, 1895 to 1949 offers a panoramic view of reflections on progress in modern China. Since the turn of the twentieth century, the discourses on progress shape Chinese understandings of modernity and its pitfalls. As this in-depth study shows, these discourses play a pivotal role in the fields of politics, society, culture, as well as philosophy, history, and literature. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the Chinese ideas of progress, their often highly optimistic implications, but also the criticism of modernity they offered, opened the gateway for reflections on China’s past, its position in the present world, and its future course.