E – Concepts and digital tools, fields and disciplines in global history

Transformed orders - transformative languages: Historical, cultural, and socio-political narratives of difference

Event Details

  • Date

    Friday, 26 June - 9:00 – 11:00

    Saturday, 27 June - 8:30–10:30

  • Venue
    tba
  • Theme
    E – Concepts and digital tools, fields and disciplines in global history
Convenor
  • Carl Antonius Lemke Duque (University of Navarra)
Chair
  • Kalle Antero Pihlainen (University of Tallinn)
Commentator
  • Zaur Gasimov (University of Bonn)
Panelists
  • Anna-Maria Moubayed (Concordia University, Montreal)
  • Jaume Aurell (University of Navarra)
  • Montserrat Herrero López (University of Navarra)
  • Carl Antonius Lemke Duque (University of Navarra)
  • Marco Demichelis (University of Navarra)
  • Chikara Uchida (University of Tokyo)

Papers

  • Anna-Maria Moubayed
    Meaning in Translation: Issues of Spolia and Temporality in Medieval Christian and Islamic Architecture

    Meaning in Translation: Issues of Spolia and Temporality in Medieval Christian and Islamic Architecture

    Writing about abandoned and isolated ruins and the reuse of high imperial elements in the construction of the Arch of Constantine, Giorgio Vasari is the first historian to use the word spoglie in an art historical context (1550). Since Vasari, the majority of contemporary art historians come to the consensus that the term spolia designates the reuse of objects or architectural elements in the construction of new objects or architectural structures, generally implicating the acts of (re)appropriation and (re)interpretation. Spoliation, (re)appropriation, re-use, and ready-mades, become interchangeable terms designating the concept and practice of spolia. This paper addresses the use and presence of spolia in medieval Christian and Islamic architecture. It considers spolia in terms of their meaning, propagandistic endeavours, reliclike value, power, interpretatio christiana, ready-mades, and palimpsest characteristics. While evaluating and deconstructing the meaning and implications of architectural spolia, this paper also proposes an in-depth examination of the way spolia were perceived in the Middle Ages, from a post-medieval context. Focusing on the complexity of their interpretation when reused architectural objects are physically and temporarily detached from their original context, this communication closely addresses temporality, anachronism, cognitive dissonance, inherent ambiguity, and the direction of current and future scholarship on the subject. The paper concludes by proposing and justifying a more accurate discussion of the use of different terminologies designating reused objects in an art historical context, which are currently identified as spolia but which are instead — in a modern perspective —other types of appropriations.
  • Jaume Aurell
    Languages of Inclusion and Exclusion in Medieval Iberia: Cultural and Religious Approach

    Languages of Inclusion and Exclusion in Medieval Iberia: Cultural and Religious Approach

    The first expansion of Islam through the Mediterranean during the seventh-ninth centuries transformed the whole political and religious situation of the Mediterranean. During those first centuries, the contacts between the Christian and Islamic societies were commanded by the tension generated by the military context and, crucially, by the deep religious differences. This situation started to change around the eleventh century. Due to the proliferation of trade interchanges and the necessity to agree when they start living together, the process of convivencia emerged. The two civilizations had to try spaces and forms of agreements. This paper aims to explore different forms of interaction, process of acculturation, and manners of culture transferences between the Christian and Islamic civilizations in medieval Iberia. It will use as primary sources some Iberian chronicles in which are narrated some interaction and differences between Islamic and Christian social and military elites. The King Jaume I the Conqueror of Aragon has left a long account of his life and deeds (Llibre dels Fets, thirteenth century) as his successor Peter IV the Ceremonious of Aragon, who wrote a long political treatise in firs person (Llibre, fourteenth century). This two chronicles contain many passages that are in the basis of what this paper proposes as field of experimentation of the transformative languages and interactive deeds concerting the encounter between the two civilizations.
  • Montserrat Herrero López
    Iuramentum – Sacramentum. Translation and Transfer of Meaning in a Key Concept of Western Culture

    Iuramentum – Sacramentum. Translation and Transfer of Meaning in a Key Concept of Western Culture

    This paper pays attention to the historical displacement of the meaning of the word sacramentum at the moment when the primitive Christian theological reflection appropriates the civil meaning that this term had in the Roman world. The multiple translations between Hebrew, Greek and Latin allowed this kind of appropriation of meanings crossing disciplines and geographical areas and thus constituting a keystone of the constitution of orders as different as the political community and the church. In fact, it was only in the second century that the vocabulary of Christian theology appropriated the meaning of sacramentum, taking it from the juridical realm where it means: This became possible through the confluence of two different traditions, including the biblical and the classical, and by adopting certain elements of Germanic custom such as Treue (fidelity). After that appropriation, the oath was completely sacralized by the Church in the Middle Ages, even though oaths had always been related to the sacral realm. Attempting to grasp the significance of the transference of meaning from sacramentum (as the Romans used it as sacramentum militiae) to “sacrament” (as the Church uses it), this paper first analyses the Biblical meanings of oath, covenant and sacrament in the Septuagint and the Vulgate; second, it looks back at the meaning of sacramentum in the classical Roman tradition; and, finally, it recovers the meaning of sacramentum in Tertullian, who is primarily responsible for the coinage of the term for theological reflection. This paper then ends with some conclusions.
  • Carl Antonius Lemke Duque
    Subject and Society. Ortega´s Sociology of the Other in Historical Perspective

    Subject and Society. Ortega´s Sociology of the Other in Historical Perspective

    The question for the social nature of man represents undoubtedly a key issue in the philosophical thinking of José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955). A decisive reference in this regard has been the sociology of Georg Simmel (1858-1918) whose courses the young Ortega had attended to during his first stay in Berlin 1905/06. Although Simmelian sociology was intensely received and promoted during the 1920s and 1930s in Spain, primarily through the so-called circle (of contributors) of the Revista de Occidente, both of the same magazine and its editorial founded by Ortega 1923/24-1936, Simmel was not included in the Biblioteca de las Ideas del Siglo XX (1922-1936) directed by Ortega in Espasa-Calpe. This library was designed to innovate the idea of science in Spain through the promotion of paradigmatic European thinkers. In order to tackle the question for the social nature of man, Ortega edited as closing number of this library in 1931 a study by the psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937). The present communication delves into the sociology of Ortega from historical perspective taking into account the context of reception of Simmel and Adler in Spain by focusing, above all, on Ortega´s ideas ands arguments in his lecture El Hombre y la Gente (1934/36) edited later as a sociological key-text, republished posthumously and translated into German and English in 1957. Particular attention will be paid to the semantic transformation process that can be examined in the various versions of El Hombre y la Gente of the 1940s and 1950s, published recently through the newly edited Obras Completas.
  • Marco Demichelis
    The “Ijazah” of Education. New Identities and History for a non-radicalized perspective of Islam in Europe

    The “Ijazah” of Education. New Identities and History for a non-radicalized perspective of Islam in Europe

    In a country where 9.2% of public-school students, from Infantile to Secondary school, have not an Italian citizenship, despite being born in Italy, the process of Integration Education becomes of primary importance to avoid a future, already seen in other European countries, in which thousands of radicalized young people migrate to regions at war to bring their destiny, pursuing narratives based on religious-violence. The educational as well as the pedagogical-curricular approach plays a fundamental role in preventing any form of religious and political radicalization, especially, but not only (many foreign fighters who reached Syria and Iraq had a European citizenship also), if in relation to generations of "citizens" born and raised on the European soil. This paper would like to frame a new methodology in shaping an updated intermingled teacher training as well as scholastic curricula in making the “humanities” taught at school, less euro-centric or national-centric and more globally considered, starting from the integration on Islamic and Middle Eastern studies. Preserving the unity of a continent that is becoming a new peaceful “Babylonia” of living people starts from the educational level. The incorporation of the History of all of them without shaping a syncretic one as well as trivializing it in an ideological perspective, need an analysis rooted on a method able to identify the global causes and consequences of historical events, the capability to parallel events, the Art History, as the political and religious thought in the clear tentative to share similarities, differences as to better explaining the friction points (Colonialism, Orientalism, Islamic-Christian dialogue). Therefore, to frame new curricula in the humanistic field able to increase the demand for different school texts, is fundamental to train the teaching body towards a new reality of identitarian but integrative education, as well as to limit and eliminate anthologies and historical narratives no longer adequate to the reality in which we live.
  • Chikara Uchida
    Why did Japanese scholars of Japanese history stop using the Concept of Fascism? Rethinking fascism in world history

    Why did Japanese scholars of Japanese history stop using the Concept of Fascism? Rethinking fascism in world history

    Fascism was a political form that spread among the Axis nations before and during World War II. Fascist parties were established in each country. Although it is often said that Japan was a fascist country during the war, most Japanese scholars of Japanese History have stopped using the concept of fascism after intense debate. The reason was not only the concept’s ambiguity, but also a misled recognition of Japan’s wartime regime that could possibly be applied to other countries. This presentation critically examines the previous debates on fascism in Japan and rethinks the phenomenon named fascism in the twentieth century.

Abstract

At first sight, globalization seems to cause one main effect: cultural and social dissolution raising the pressure on political orders, nationally and internationally, including their potential collapse. From a historical perspective though, globalization has always and inherently been fueled by manifold reorganizations of the socio-cultural patterns encoded into historical orders. Critical junctures, historical crisis and times of political turnover are, insofar, triggers of globalization itself. Since a couple of decades scholars from different fields of investigations are focusing on the patterns that determine these streams of dissolution and reorganization by following the interdisciplinary longue durée concept of historical transformations. This concept aims at understanding the diverse processes of appropriation and acculturation beyond a merely synchronous interaction between two different cultural and linguistic spaces. It focuses rather diachronically on a multidimensional space of interactions. From methodological perspective, two conceptual innovations need to be taken into account here: Firstly, Transfer Culturels focusing on so called resemanticizations triggered through actively operating transfer agents (individuals, social groups, institutions etc.). This approach has experienced multiple empirical applications within the frame of transnational historiographies such as Entangled History, Histoire croisée etc. (Ackermann, 2004). In this context, reshaped significations are considered crucial when identifying processes of appropriation between cultural spaces including triangulated transfer process in multiple linguistic spaces. Nevertheless, the operationalization of entangled histories continuous to be a difficult task for the unidentifiable absolute start of any entanglement as such, particularly when differentiating between objects of entanglement (croisement), crossed perspective that shape entangled objects and the different analytical approaches carried out through the researcher (Werner & Zimmermann, 2006). Secondly, Translational Science focusing on the concrete semantical how of intercultural exchange and negotiation. Surprisingly, the translational turn of cultural studies and its metaphorical use of the master term »translation« has led to a crude reduction of the interlingual dimension of translation to a mere auxiliar tool (Heller, 2017). From the translational point of view, interlingual dimensions of cultural transformation are held up as a fundamental condition of enabling the multiple interactions (historical, socio-cultural, medial-communicative, political-discursive, etc.) of the actors involved in any process of intercultural transformation. From this perspective, knowledge is gained not »just through dissemination from an original, but through ongoing translations as negotiations, appropriations, and transformations« (Bachmann-Medick, 2016, p. 18). The present panel proposes a critical debate between historians, sociologists as well as scholars of religious studies and educational science in order to shed light on the both dimensions of transformative patterns in transition processes of historical and contemporary socio-political orders. The panel´s focus can be applied as an analytical tool in reading the alterations within historical and contemporary orders by identifying shifts in narratives of larger global history concerning instabilities, deficiencies or contingencies. It can serve as well as a heuristic tool that allows reconstructing the empirical processes that determine and alter socio-political orders. As a binary tool it may finally provide a critical perspective of methodological self-examination. References - Ackermann, A. (2004). »Das Eigene und das Fremde: Hybridität, Vielfalt und Kulturtransfer«, In Handbuch der Kulturwissenschaften, Vol. 3: Themen und Tendenzen, ed. Jaeger, F. et al., Stuttgart: Springer, pp. 139-154. - Bachmann-Medic, D. (2016). The Trans/National Study of Culture: A Translational Perspective, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. - Heller, L. (2017). »Eulen nach Athen? Provokation und Reflexionsanstöße des translational turn der Kulturwissenschaft für die Translationstheorie«, In Kultur und Übersetzung. Studien zu einem begrifflichen Verhältnis, ed. Heller, L., Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, pp. 94-115. - Werner, M. & Zimmermann, B. (2006), »Beyond Comparison: Histoire Croisée and the Challenge of Reflexivity«, History and Theory 45, pp. 30-50.