ANN: Global Cultural Encounters (1750-1950) Workshop, August 2-4 (University of Michigan)

Kira Thurman's picture
August 2, 2017
Michigan, United States
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Area Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, World History / Studies

Sponsored by the Thyssen Foundation, the workshop, "Global Cultural Encounters, - Between the Material and Immaterial, 1750-1950," explores our world's interconnectedness since the modern era. The workshop will take place at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

3:00–3:30 Registration

3:30–3:45 Welcome Address
Geoff Eley (University of Michigan), History Department Chair

3:45–4:00 Opening Remarks
Harry Liebersohn (University of Illinois) / Kira Thurman (University of Michigan) / Stefan Hübner (National University of Singapore)

4:00–5:00 Introductions and Discussion of Scholarly Goals

5:00 Reception


Thursday, August 3, 2017

9:30–11:00 Panel 1: The Pursuit of Scientific Knowledge in the Age of Empire
Chair: Harry Liebersohn (University of Illinois)

Moritz von Brescius (University of Konstanz), “German Science in the Age of Empire: Enterprise, Opportunity and the Schlagintweit Brothers”

Simon Layton (Queen Mary University of London), “The Sartorial Science of Sir Joseph Banks”

11:00–11:15 Coffee Break

11:15–12:45: Panel 2: The British in South Asia; South Asia in Great Britain
Chair: Amanda Armstrong-Price (University of Michigan)

J. Barton Scott (University of Toronto), “Translated Freedoms: Karsandas Mulji’s Travels in England and the Anthropology of the Victorian Self”

Teresa Segura–Garcia (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), “Princely Alliances on a Global Stage: Baroda, the British Empire, and the World, c. 1875–1939”

12:45–2:00 Lunch Break

2:00 – 4:15 Panel 3: Musical Diasporas
Chair: Jesse Hoffnung–Garskoff (University of Michigan)

Kira Thurman (University of Michigan), “Encountering Beethoven in Rural Alabama: German Music and Black Education in the United States, 1870–1940”

Ted Sammons (University of Toronto), “From the Workshop to the World: Jazz Jamaica and the Black Freedom Movement”

meLê yamomo (Free University of Berlin), “Globalization in cylinders: Auditioning the early global acoustic epistemology”

4:15–4:30 Coffee Break

4:30–6:00 Panel 4: Global Ideological Encounters in East Asia
Chair: Perrin Selcer (University of Michigan)

Yurou Zhong (University of Toronto), “Toward a Chinese Grammatology”

Stefan Huebner (National University of Singapore), “The ‘Oceanic Colonizing Mission’ and floating city projects since the 1950s”


Friday, August 4, 2017

9:30–11:00 Panel 5: Colonial Projects in/and the Middle East in the Interwar Era
Chair: Melanie Tanelian (University of Michigan)

Elizabeth Matsushita (University of Illinois), “Alexis Chottin’s Moroccan Music: Race, Colonialism, and Modernity in the Protectorate’s Musicological Project”

Shuang Wen (National University of Singapore), “The YMCA and the Arab–Chinese Laborers in WWI”

11:00–11:15 Coffee Break

11:15–12:45 Panel 6: Policing the Body under Colonial Rule
Chair: Victor Mendoza (University of Michigan)

Emma Thomas (University of Michigan), “Rape, Indenture, and the Colonial Courts in German New Guinea”

T.J. Tallie (Washington and Lee University), “Sobriety and Settlement: the Racialized Politics of Alcohol Use in Colonial Natal”

12:45–2:00 Lunch Break

2:00–3:30 Panel 7: Measuring the Body: Global Medicine and Anthropology under Empire

Chair: Zhiying Ma (University of Michigan)

Albert Wu (American University of Paris), “Superstition and Quackery: Scenes from a Global History”

Fenneke Sysling (University of Utrecht), “Anthropometry and the human Wallace line”

3:30–3:45 Coffee Break

3:45–5:00 Final Discussion, Possible Plans for the Future, and Closing Remarks

Harry Liebersohn (University of Illinois)

6:00 Conference Dinner 

If you are interested in attending, please email Kira Thurman: thurmank(at)

Sponsored by: Thyssen Foundation, Asian Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore, the University of Michigan’s Departments of History and Germanic Languages and Literatures; the University of Michigan’s Humanities Institute; the University of Michigan’s Office of Research; and the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA)


Contact Info: 

Kira Thurman, Assistant Professor of History and Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan

Contact Email: