Research Network for Transcultural Practices in the Arts and Humanities

Activities organized by RNTP-members

September 2017

"The Role of Encyclopedic Museums in Complex Political Times (In Europe)"
Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau, Staatliche Kunstsamlungen Dresden, September 13-15, 2017

Epochal events such as Brexit and the threat of growing nationalism have shaken the art world and spurred it into action. Not only are the identity of Europe and its underlying democratic values being put to the test, but freedom of thought and artistic expression are increasingly at risk around the world. Museums and cultural institutions are thus increasingly forced to examine their role in society and their ethical mission. The art-historical, cultural, ethnological, archaeological and design holdings of encyclopedic museums grant these collections a complex historical depth. Their collections can be viewed as a vocabulary shared by a global society and should be constantly questioned and re-evaluated with particular regard to their social responsibility. Today the great encyclopedic museums are again faced with the task of critically examining the processes by which knowledge related to their collections is generated, the taxonomies under which the collections are organized, the conditions surrounding the objects’ accession, the view of the world the display of such objects presents, how stories relating to the objects are (re-)constructed, and how they help write history. On the basis of these topics and their evaluation, the symposium will explore the question of what contribution public encyclopedic or ‘universal’ museums should, can, or may make, given the current polarization of society.

For more detailed information and regular updates about the event please see:

 February 2016

"The Savage hits back revisited. Art and Global Contemporaneity in the Colonial Encounter"
Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum - Kulturen der Welt, Cologne, February 12-13, 2016

The international conference aims at re-visiting the colonial encounter with foreign art worlds in the work of Julius Lips. It is organized by Anna Brus, Joseph Imorde and Erhard Schüttpelz (Siegen University, DFG-Research Training Group »Locating Media«) and takes place in cooperation with the "Research Network for Transcultural Perspectives in the Arts and Humanities" (preliminary title).

For more detailed information and regular updates about the conference please see:

April 2016

"Theories and Methods for the Global Modern"
Symposium organized by the Art Department at The City College of New York (Friday, April 8, 2016)

Today's global turn in art history and museum curating is spurred by recent escalations of economic and cultural globalization. Many publications and museum interventions accordingly emphasize contemporary art, celebrating diversity and inclusivity in the art world. Does the new global field especially encompass the 20th-century and the contemporary, even though globalization as a phenomenon is nothing new? Indeed, since at least the 15th century, when trade networks grew truly worldwide, and since the 19th century, when modern imperial systems expanded, the global has become historical. Centuries of far-ranging artistic exchanges can now be examined through historical documents and other forms of evidence and inquiry. This symposium throws global modern artistic phenomena open to the widest possible understanding of modernity, considering early modern through contemporary eras. The symposium seeks to grapple with “global” modern art history as an emerging field—including its core methodologies and concerns, exciting possibilities, and potential pitfalls.


May 2016

"Penetrable / Traversable / Habitable: Exploring spatial environments by women artists in the 1960s and 1970s"
Centro de Arte Moderna - Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian,  Lisbon, Portugal,  19-20 May 2016

The international conference aims to create a forum for discussing, in a cross-cultural perspective, spatial environments realized by women artists in the 1960s and 1970s and seeks to encourage the articulation of new exploratory categories potentially capable of apprehending the works' singularities as well as questioning the common threads that could connect them to other practices in the context of feminist art historical scholarship. The conference is a joint initiative of the association Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions (AWARE) in Paris and the Institute of Art History of the NOVA University in Lisbon and is part of the IHA Contemporary Art Studies Group's research focus on spatial practices and exploration of zones of intersection between contemporary artistic production and processes of geographical, historical, political and cultural inscription. 
For more detailed information about the conference please see: