Friday, December 18, 2009

Shaping Europe: Imagined Spaces and Cultural Transactions 1450 - 1700 ...

... is the subject of a series of three summer schools to be held at the Universities of Basel, Sussex and Frankfurt from 2010 to 2012. The summer schools are organised by Susanna Burghartz, Basel, Gisela Engel, Frankfurt, Ina Habermann, Basel, Margaret Healy, Sussex, Tom Healy, Sussex and Susanne Scholz, Frankfurt.

From a historical moment at which Europe – both as a concept and as a geopolitical entity – is redefining its boundaries and its political status, these summer schools will look back to the time when the values, institutions and spatial boundaries of what is today seen as European emerged. The thematic focus will be on the ways in which early modern subjects, groups and institutions shaped the spaces they lived in, and how they produced and negotiated social, cultural and political structures through the interaction of texts and images, the transfer of ideas, values and material objects, as well as rites of inclusion and exclusion.

The summer school aims to bring together graduate students and leading academics who will investigate these issues through a series of seminars and lectures with an emphasis on intense debate and an interdisciplinary approach to literature, history, art history and the history of science.

The Basel summer school is supported by the Basel Centre of Competence Cultural Topographies and the Department of History, University of Basel.

Further summer schools will focus on “Fields of Exchange” (University of Sussex, United Kingdom, early September 2011) and “Contested Spaces” (University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany, early September 2012). The Sussex summer school will be supported by the Centre of Early Modern Studies of Sussex University; the Frankfurt summer school by the Zentrum zur Erforschung der Frühen Neuzeit (Centre for Early Modern Studies).

CROSSROADS 29.8.2010 - 4.9.2010

After an earlier emphasis in historical research on boundaries and ruptures, historians and critics have become increasingly interested in the continuities, connections and transitions which always complicate the confident assessment of new departures. As such transitions necessitate research on the micro-level, the summer school 2010 Crossroads explores the significance of specific figures, places and discursive fields which were, through exchange and interaction, part of the process that shaped Europe between 1500 and 1600. Basel as a centre of humanism, printing and science offers an ideal setting for a discussion of the first summer school’s three topics:

“Networks of Communication” places two figures, Erasmus of Rotterdam and Hans Holbein, at the centre. Both acted locally but contributed at the same time to the reformation of European culture. The second topic, “Sites of Mediation”, examines two specific sites of production and dissemination of European knowledge: the press of the Frankfurt editor de Bry, who specifically produced for a European market, and the collection of the internationally active merchant banker Manuel Ximenez in Antwerp. The third focus “Intersections of Knowledge” explores the cultural exchanges in fields such as anatomy, alchemy and natural philosophy, which proved to be formative for early modern Europe.

The summer school offers keynote addresses by high profile scholars, talks by specialists who will be available for extended discussion, as well as preliminary reading material. Excursions in relation to the summer school’s topics, advice about PhD projects, informal exchange with other graduate students and networking opportunities complete the Shaping Europe summer school.


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