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In-betweenness: in search of intermediaries

« In-betweenness » : à la recherche des intermédiaires

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Published on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

After more than a century of research, the humanities have developed increasingly refined concepts and tools to identify the characteristics of cultural exchange. Since the creation of the diffusionist paradigm, which often tried to study the circulation of cultural objects without specifically identifying the actors, numerous works have made it possible to dissect the transfer processes and the individuals involved. Concepts and tools inherited from anthropology and ethnology such as acculturation, cultural transfers, métissage, middle ground or hybridization have attempted to account for the phenomena resulting from intercultural exchanges. However, only more recently has attention been paid to intermediaries and their role in the various processes.

Announcement

Argument

After more than a century of research, the humanities have developed increasingly refined concepts and tools to identify the characteristics of cultural exchange. Since the creation of the diffusionist paradigm, which often tried to study the circulation of cultural objects without specifically identifying the actors (RENFREW, BAHN 2013, 56), numerous works have made it possible to dissect the transfer processes and the individuals involved. Concepts and tools inherited from anthropology and ethnology such as acculturation (REDFIELD, LINTON, HERSKOVITS 1936), cultural transfers (SPAIN 2013), métissage (GRUZINSKI 1999; BENAT-TACHOT, GRUZINSKI 2001), middle ground (WHITE 1991) or hybridization (BHABHA 1994) have attempted to account for the phenomena resulting from intercultural exchanges. However, only more recently has attention been paid to intermediaries and their role in the various processes. There have been attempts to identify their nature and to draw up typologies of representatives of in-betweenness (BHABHA 1994; RAJ 2016) in the various fields of historical science. In parallel, archaeology, as a discipline dealing with material culture, has attempted to apply several of these concepts to the study of past populations (e.g. MALKIN 2011; ROLLINGER, SCHNEGG 2014), sometimes drawing on other notions such as ethnicity (ANTONACCIO 2009). This work in the historical sciences has also been the subject of numerous critiques that often reflect opposing paradigms.

In-betweeness brings together a large number of issues faced by representatives of historical disciplines. Each of them tries to reconstruct itineraries, traces or lives of intermediaries from an often diffuse or erratic documentation. In some cases, the nature of the cultural objects transmitted by the latter escapes analysis because of distortions or reinterpretations. Finally, the position occupied by the intermediary is complex to define because of his situation at the intersection of two or more cultures.

Submission guidelines

This meeting organised by the UMR 7044 ArcHiMedE of the University of Strasbourg (Unistra), is aimed at doctoral students and PhDs from different historical disciplines, as well as ethnologists and anthropologists. Papers will last 20 minutes and will be followed by a 10-minute discussion with the audience. They will focus on the identification of intermediaries and observable phenomena in situations of intermediality, in an unlimited geographical space. They will be based on textual, archaeological and iconographic data and/or on field observations. The papers will be structured around the following three axes:

  1. Identification of intermediaries: training, background, origin, etc.
  2. The role of intermediaries: social positioning, power issues (tertius gaudens), management of intercultural contacts etc.
  3. The cultural objects transmitted by the intermediaries: objects of material culture, ideas, transmission processes, etc.

Proposals for papers, of a maximum of 3,000 characters, should be in French or English and sent by e-mail to corentin.voisin2@gmail.com

before 29 August 2021.

The unit of affiliation, the rank and the discipline of the contributor must be specified. The papers selected by the scientific committee will be announced on 2 October 2021. Contributions will be considered for publication.

Organiser

  • Voisin Corentin (doctorant en histoire ancienne et archéologie - UMR 7044)

Scientific committee

  • Deboos Salomé (Maître de conférences en Ethnologie, université de Strasbourg, UMR 7363 SAGE)
  • Esposito Arianna (Maître de conférences en Histoire de l’Art et Archéologie grecque, université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, UMR 6298 ArTeHiS)
  • Humm Michel (Professeur en Histoire romaine, université de Strasbourg, UMR 7044 ArcHiMedE)
  • Jacquemin Anne (Professeur émérite, université de Strasbourg, UMR 7044 ArcHiMedE)
  • Lefèvre-Novaro Daniela (Professeur en archéologie grecque, université de Strasbourg, UMR 7044 ArcHiMedE)
  • Nouet Rachel (Maître de conférences en archéologie grecque, université de Strasbourg, UMR 7044 ArcHiMedE)
  • Pollini Airton (Maître de conférences en Histoire de l’Antiquité grecque, université de Haute-Alsace, UMR 7044 ArcHiMedE)
  • Scholtus Lizzie (Docteure en archéologie, ingénieure d’étude CNRS, UMR 7044 ArcHiMedE-Consortium MASA)

Bibliography

Antonaccio C. M., « (Re)defining ethnicity : Culture, Material Culture, and Identity », in Hodos T., Hales S. (dir.), Visual Culture and Social Social Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean, Cambridge, CUP, 2009, p. 32-53.

Bénat-Tachot L., Gruzinski S. (dir.), Passeurs culturels. Mécanismes de métissage, Paris, Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, 2001.

Bhabha H., The Location of Culture, Londres-New York, Routledge, 1994.

Espagne 2013 : Espagne M., « La notion de transfert culturel », Revue Sciences/Lettres, 1, 2013, En ligne, http://journals.open edition.org/rsl/219, consulté le 26/05/2021.

Gruzinski 1999 : Gruzinski S., La Pensée métisse, Paris, Fayard, 1999.

Malkin 2011 : Malkin I., A Small Greek World : Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean, Oxford, OUP, 2011.

Raj K., « Go‐Betweens, Travelers, and Cultural Translators », in Lightman B. (dir.), A Companion to the History of Science, Hoboken, Wiley Blackwell, 2016.

Redfield R., Linton R., Herskovits, M. J., « Memorandum on the Study of Acculturation », American Anthropology, 38, 1, 1936, p. 149-152.

Renfrew C., Bahn P., Archaeology : The Key Concepts, Londres, Routledge, 2013.

Rollinger R., Schnegg K. (dir.), Kulturkontakte in antiken Welten : von Denkmodell zum Fallbeispiel. Proceedings des internationalen Kolloquiums aus Anlass des 60. Geburtstages von Christoph Ulf, Innsbruck, 26. bis 30. Januar 2009, Louvain-Paris, Walpole, 2014.

White R., The Middle Ground : Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815, Cambridge, CUP, 1991.

Places

  • Salle de conférence - Maison interuniversitaire des sciences de l'homme - Alsace (MISHA), 5 allée du général Rouvillois
    Strasbourg, France (67000)

Date(s)

  • Sunday, August 29, 2021

Keywords

  • intermédiaire, go-between, middle ground, interculturalité

Contact(s)

  • Corentin Voisin
    courriel : corentin [dot] voisin2 [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Corentin Voisin
    courriel : corentin [dot] voisin2 [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« In-betweenness: in search of intermediaries », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, https://calenda.org/887008

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