Transcultural Knowledges

Transcultural Knowledges (TrKnow) designates ongoing TAS research, carried out in the spirit of the epistemological vigilance urged by Bourdieu, on the "genealogies" (Nietzsche, Foucault) of the disputed field of transcultural knowledge production.

Some of the issues being addressed are: How do we re-construct knowledge within this field in historical perspective? What is the field of power (Bourdieu) at work discernible in cultural practices that encompass the politics, practice and performance of knowledge production in the specific context of transculturality? Should our methodology insist on taking into account the reverberations of European colonial expansion as a distinctive field of power? If so, how   do we systematically approach the shifting global configurations of economic, cultural and symbolic capital?

We need "genealogies" of the trajectories by which dominant knowledge of transcultural cultures has survived up to the present day, this being the "epistemological violence" Chakravorty Spivak censures; at the same time we must not lose sight of the impact this knowledge is still allowed to have on current injustices, to the "symbolic violence" Bourdieu criticises. The manner in which memorialization has been/is performed with regard to a culture's or nation's contested history of the past as officially displayed in museums, to name but one institutionalized example, is one such topic demanding critical attention. Yet current injustices like modern slavery, involving human trafficking, child labour, coerced prostitution, and drug- and arms-trafficking, need to be urgently traced back to their genealogies. We also need to interrogate the advocacy of consumerism and fetishism with regard to the disputed rights of minors and animals, while in the context of the continuing depletion of natural resources, we need to focus on the magnitude of these policies on not only our ecosystem, but also for those remnants of minority cultures now facing extinction. In the context of the public sphere, the issues of rights, citizenship, and peoplehood demand that we do not forget to investigate the human cost and benefit balance of the so-called Fortress Europe, and therewith address the long-standing yet still-contemporaneous transcultural self- versus other-stereotyping that leads to cultural (and concomitant political) conflicts.