It has become more and more evident that there is a need of theories that allow the historian to take aspects of transfer in history into account. Key concepts in a theoretical orientation of that kind can be ‘cultural transfer’, ‘mobility’, and ‘process’.

Cultural transfer is vital for the understanding of the dynamics of the 18th century. With this approach, relational and processual aspects can come into the fore, having the consequence that national borders do not divide but connect countries to each other. Networks were built across the borders, something that can be observed within the philosophical, artistic, and scientific fields. Cultural transfer has by now become established internationally within historiography, but questions should be raised about its relation to for example postcolonial hybridity and issues of gender.

Mobility – as essential to cultural, scientific, and artistic practitioners who moved into areas defined by diverse socio-political and religious discourses – is a key concept that may question the idea of sheer ‘influence’, showing how a processing activity can be capable of generating entirely new expressions. The juxtaposition of models can be examined without imposing the static frame of centre/periphery.

The theme of the workshop is the methodological and theoretical advantages that a processual perspective can give, allowing a better understanding of the specific meaning a cultural phenomenon can have within different contexts, be they regional, national, or continental.


13:00 – 13:45

The Process of Cultural Transfer: Feminist Utopianism as Example

Open Lecture, Alessa Johns, University of California, Davis.

14:00 – 14:45

Comparative history and cultural transfer: theoretical and methodological considerations

Open Lecture, Andreas Åkerlund, Södertörn University.

15:00 – 15:30

Coffee break

15:30 – 17:00

Panel discussion