Mittwoch, 09. Oktober 2019, 9:00 - Freitag, 11. Oktober 2019, 12:00

Empire of Circulation. Habsburg Knowledge in its Global Setting International Conference

The IKT Annual Conference for 2019

The IKT Annual Conference for 2019 situates the Habsburg Empire afresh in its global settings and retrieves its function as a workshop of world knowledge. We aim at rediscovering the unique epistemic resources developed by Central European scientists and savants: Habsburg scholars creatively grasped and shaped the religious and linguistic diversity of their imperial polity and they did so by entangling their region with the wider world; they tweaked, deracinated and readjusted practices across contexts, they compared, translated and amalgamated bodies of knowledge. The conceptual portfolio produced in the Empire linked its local plurality to global concerns and it was precisely this nexus that gave the Central European epistemic toolkit its worldwide resonance.

By repositioning Habsburg Central Europe as a catalyst and clearinghouse in the global circulation of people, goods, ideas and practices, our conference formulates and tests a novel paradigm for the study of culture: We contend that knowledge is always created in interaction, there is no pristine and pure knowledge lodged in one exclusive place of origin. This entails two interventions: We steer free from the study of self-enhancing “representations” of the exotic other by exposing the mediated and co-produced nature of these imageries, and we move beyond benignly self-propelling “flows”. The focus on “circulation” enables us to retrieve the situated prerequisites and obstacles, the institutionalized structures and processes that foster and foil, freeze and re-initiate interaction. It gives leverage to the previously neglected work of brokers and mediators, as well as to the media of translation.

Organizers: Franz L. Fillafer and Johannes Feichtinger
Hosting Institutions: The Austrian Academy of Sciences (Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History) in cooperation with the Austrian National Library (Map Department, Department of Papyri, Picture Archives and Graphic Department) and the Austrian State Archives, Section Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv HHStA