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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies URPP Asia and Europe (2006–2017)

Varieties of Modernity? Possibilities and limitations of a research perspective for Asia and Europe

Zurich, 8–10 September 2009

Table of contents

The conference, which took place at the Museum Rietberg and the University of Zurich, critically addressed the widely used concepts of /multiple modernities/ and /alternative modernities/ in the specific context of Asia and Europe. Countries of the Eurasian continent have been involved in manifold processes of mutual appropriation and demarcation since the beginning of history. This thematic focus of the conference not only allowed for a comparative view of contemporary Eurasian societies, but also for a diachronic perspective on single historical events and across large periods of time. The conference brought together proponents and critics of the concept of /multiple modernities/ and sought to subject the intensive debates on the topic in sociology and in cultural studies to an interdisciplinary view. Etiological and evaluative studies of the notion of modernity, theoretical reflections on modernity in the plural were presented side-by-side and sometimes alongside interdisciplinary empirical research of topics such as Hasan-al Banna, the founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, or the idiosyncratic modernity between China and Europa, as it reveals itself in the experimental science of the producition of porcelain in the 18th century.

Pheng Cheah (University of California, Berkeley), Bettina Dennerlein (University of Zurich), Rolf Elberfeld (University of Hildesheim), Wolfgang Knöbl (University of Göttingen), Gudrun Krämer (FU Berlin), Lydia H. Liu (Columbia University), Tamara Loos (Cornell University), David L. McMahan (Franklin&Marshall College), Shalini Randeria (University of Zurich), Andrea Riemenschnitter (University of Zurich), Volker Schmidt (National University of Singapore), Sanjay Subrahmanyam (UC Los Angeles), Sven Trakulhun (University of Zürich), Christoph Uehlinger (University of Zurich), Ralph Weber (University of Zurich)

Conference organizers:
- Sven Trakulhun
- Ralph Weber

Program and Poster of the Conference for Download:

Program with abstracts (PDF, 284 KB)

Poster "Varieties of Modernity?" (PDF, 206 KB)


Articles, Reports and Interviews

  • Hybride Moderne: Interview with the Assistant Professor of the URPP Asia and Europe Sven Trakulhun on the Conference "Varieties of Modernity?".
    In: UZH News, 29 September 2009

Weiterführende Informationen