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Ergebnisanzeige "Winter School Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship. Philologies Across the Asias: The Translation, Transmission and Transformation of Knowledge in the Early Modern World "
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelWinter School Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship. Philologies Across the Asias: The Translation, Transmission and Transformation of Knowledge in the Early Modern World
BeschreibungCall for Applications:

Winter School
Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship

Philologies Across the Asias: The Translation, Transmission and
Transformation of Knowledge in the Early Modern World

Call for applications
10-21 December 2012, Delhi
(Deadline: 20 May 2012)

Within the framework of the research project Zukunftsphilologie:
Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship the Berlin-based Forum
Transregionale Studien and the Center for the Study of Developing
Societies (CSDS) in Delhi invite scholars to apply for an
international Winter School to be held in Delhi from 10-21 December,
2012 on the theme


The winter school aims to explore, from an intellectual and global
history perspective, the role that textual practices, language studies
and archival policies have played in the constitution of knowledge
across Asia roughly since 1500.

The winter school will be steered by a group of scholars including
Manan Ahmed (Zukunftsphilologie/Freie Universitaet Berlin), Muzaffar
Alam (University of Chicago), Rajeev Bhargava (CSDS, Delhi), Whitney
Cox (SOAS, London), Islam Dayeh (Zukunftsphilologie/Freie Universitaet
Berlin), Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit (Friedrich Schlegel Graduate
School for Literary Studies/Freie Universitaet Berlin), Michael
Lackner (Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen), Shail Mayaram
(CSDS, Delhi).

The Delhi Winter School builds on the success of Zukunftsphilologie's
first Winter School held in Cairo, December 2010 on "Textual Practices
Beyond Europe: 1500-1900". The Cairo Winter School focused mainly on
the recovery and recuperation of instances of marginalized textual
practices beyond Europe at a time of vast European imperial expansion,
formations of national canons and in the context of the disciplinary
history of Orientalism. The 2012 Delhi Winter School, Philologies
Across the Asias, will further this research programme by shedding
light on the mobility of texts, languages and textual practices across
the cultural geographies of Asia - focusing on Arabic, Syriac,
Armenian, Turkish, Sanskrit, Persian, Urdu, Chinese, Japanese, Malay,
Tamil, the vernaculars across India and East Asia, among other
linguistic and cultural realms.

This particular emphasis on cross-Asian philological and intellectual
relations is not to undermine European encounters with Asia, but
rather to consciously provincialise it, and thereby to approach it as
one among many historical experiences of Asia. The fundamental
question that we ask is: how could a history of Asia without Europe as
its single point of reference actually look like? How was, for
example, seventh and eighth century Greco-Syriac-Arabic literary
culture viewed by Indo-Persian intellectuals in the early modern
period? What role did Arabic script or Arabic intellectual traditions
play across various locations - from the Mediterranean to the Malay
world - to help bring about a sense of intellectual cosmopolitanism.
Looking at any exemplary Ottoman or Chinese literary scholar in the
early modern period, what can we deduce about the linguistic tools and
methodologies at their disposal. What theories and notions of
history, of language, and of cultural heritage determined their vision
of translation and transformation from one register to another? What
was at stake, in these movements across Asia? Where modern scholarship
has looked at ancient or early medieval forms of politico-linguistic
encounters - in the Late Antiquity of the Near East or the Renaissance
of tenth century Baghdad, we have yet to grapple with the ways in
which texts, materials, and methodologies of philological encounters
shaped the ideas of self and community in the early modern period. The
rise of vernaculars and colloquial writing from the courtly cultures
and urban spaces of such places like Vijayanagar, Aceh, Seoul,
Istanbul and Damascus created new scribal practices, new imaginations
of cultural spread and hegemonies, and new ways of opening the world
to text and vice versa.

The role of these vernaculars in facilitating modes of translation in
the philological practices across Asia will be a key concern of the
Winter School. Our focus will be on the historical and cultural
dimension of philological practices, to underline the ways in which
textual culture (formation of archives, circulation of manuscripts,
consolidation of expertise), political economy (rise of regional
powers and patronly courts), and cultural imagination (a valence and
value to the role of knowledge and knowledge systems) informed and
governed Asian worlds prior to and during European colonial

By situating such practices in the larger context of the global
histories of Asia and the complex geographies and polities that
formed it, a doubly necessary discursive and historiographical move
is intended: to disrupt any lingering notions of a monolithic Asia
fabricated by western imperial imagination, and to challenge any
assumption that philological knowledge originated in Europe and
traveled - via the Colonial encounter - to Asia.

Asias, in the plural, therefore, refers to the countless
geographical locations, landscapes and seascapes, maps, boundaries
and frontiers that make up territorial Asia, and it also refers to the
countless number of representations, imaginations and historiographies
that continue to shape its contours and delineate its differences.

The Winter School will engage in a transregional and historical
perspective that transcends current national, colonial, religious and
ethnic boundaries, real and imagined. This will be carried out by
bringing together the expertise of scholars of various textual
cultures to explore the ways in which Asia can be properly seen as a
variegated, complex, and entangled whole. The Winter School aims to
explore the early modern interconnections and entanglements of the
Asias through an investigation of the philologies that connected them
and also brought them apart.


Delhi from the eleventh century provided a nodal point linking
histories and cultures across Asias - from China Sea to the Red Sea -
via the polities that called it their Capital. The movement of
intellectuals after the Mongol disruption linking the Western Asian
world echoed in the linking of Cairo and Istanbul and Delhi during the
early modern period. Similarly, the movement of Chinese, Tibetan and
Sanskritic texts across northern Asia benefited greatly from the
political lines stretching across Delhi. We hope that the choice of
Delhi will enrich and continue the conversation we started at Cairo.

Conditions of Application and Procedure

The International Winter School is open to postdoctoral researchers
(within 7 years of completion) and advanced doctoral students from the
field of language studies, history and cultural studies, whose
philological work promotes an inter-Asian perspective. Particular
preference will be given to applicants whose proposals exemplify a
conscious dovetailing of comparativist methodology and
historiographical reflection. Before submitting an application,
interested applicants are strongly advised to visit the
Zukunftsphilologie website (
[]) for a
description of the project and a list of previous events, including a
report of the Cairo Winter School.

Participants receive a stipend covering travel and accommodation.
They will be expected to give at least one presentation of their
research, actively participate in discussion groups and seminars, and
assist in chairing sessions. In order to create common intellectual
ground and to ensure fruitful conversations, participants will receive
a collection of preparatory essential readings in the form of an
online reader, which they will be required to read carefully prior to
their arrival in Delhi. These readings will be discussed extensively
during the Winter School. Unlike similar events where the burden is on
a team of tutors, the ultimate success of the Delhi Winter School
however depends to a great extent on the engagement and contribution
of all its participating members.

The researchers' work should be clearly relevant to the themes of the
Winter School. The working language is English. The application should
likewise be in English and consist of:

1) A research expose of no more than 5 pages, which includes an
outline of your project, and states clearly why you think this Winter
School is pertinent to your research, with a brief summary thereof
(max. 200 words).

2) "Relevant readings", Please provide citation of one or two
academic articles or works you find relevant to the overall themes and
objectives of the winter school and would propose discussing at the
Winter School.

3) Curriculum vitae plus a short biography (max. 150 words).

4) The names of two university faculty members who can serve as
referees (no letters of recommendation required)

5) While we do not require official proof of English fluency,
applicants whose native tongue is not English will be expected to have
a strong command of the language

6) Send by e-mail as ONE pdf file or in ONE word document.

The application should be submitted in English and should be received by
May 20, 2012 addressed to

Please find the announcement in PDF form via the following link:

Zukunftsphilologie aspires to support research in marginalized and
undocumented textual practices and literary cultures with the aim of
integrating texts and scholarly traditions from Asia, Africa, and the
Middle East as well as from Europe itself. The project takes as its
point of departure the increasingly growing concern with the global
significance of philology and the potential of philology to challenge
exclusivist notions of the self and the canon. Zukunftsphilologie
endeavours to promote and emphasise primary textual scholarship beyond
the classical humanistic canon by a critical recuperation of
philology. In an age of advanced communication, intellectual
specialisation and unprecedented migration of knowledge and people,
the discipline of philology assumes new relevance. The project draws
on the recent calls for a return to philology as particularly
emphasised by Sheldon Pollock in his essay "Future Philology--The
Fate of A Soft Science in a Hard World" and the late Edward Said's
essay "The Return to Philology".

More information: []

The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS or Centre) is
a premier institute of India in the social sciences and humanities.
The Centre provides a unique institutional space which seeks to
nurture intellectual interests and interdisciplinary modes of enquiry
outside the entrenched boundaries of academic disciplines. Since its
inception in 1963 the Centre has been known for its skepticism towards
any one conception of modernity and received models of development and
progress and has sought ways to make creative use of local traditions
in the making of multiple and alternative modernities, much before
these ideas become fashionable in intellectual discourse. The CSDS has
always promoted conversations between and within cultures. It has
tried to delink cultural resources from violent expressions of
political identities and promoted the idea that dissent is crucial for
creative conversation between cultures and societies. The CSDS has carved
out a space for itself in the field of democratic politics and its futures,
politics of culture and knowledge, contextually relevant political theory,
media and urban experiences, critical discourse on science and technology
and violence, ethnic diversity.

For More information: []

The Forum Transregionale Studien is a Berlin-based research platform
designed to promote research that connects systematic and region-specific
questions in a perspective that addresses entanglements and interactions
beyond national, cultural or regional frames. The Forum works in
tandem with already existing institutions and networks engaged in
transregional studies and is supported by an association of directors
of universities, research institutes and networks mainly based in
Berlin. The Forum Transregionale Studien is funded by the Land of
For more information:


c/o Forum Transregionale Studien
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
Wallotstrasse 19
14193 Berlin
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