Department of Music

Back Page

European Cultural Transfer in the Eighteenth Century Cultures in Europe
Eleventh Quadrennial Congress of the International Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (ISECS)
Los Angeles, August 2003


European Cultural Transfer in the Eighteenth Century Cultures in Europe - 
Eleventh Quadrennial Congress of the International Society for Eighteenth
Century Studies (ISECS), University of California, Los Angeles, 3-10
August 2003

Panel:

European Cultural Transfer in the Eighteenth Century Cultures in Europe - 
Is there a European Culture?


If the process of Enlightenment was European in scope, so was the rise of the
nations. The European eighteenth century saw both multiple border crossings of
Enlightenment and the birth of national cultures. What does the cross-cultural
illuminate about both the national cultures and the European whole? That is the
intriguing prospect raised by the issue of cultural transfer. In the case of the
German culture of the eighteenth century, finding its own national identity meant
discarding the French ideal in order to follow the English. By the end of the
century, currents reversed and it was German literature and culture that caught
the interest of intellectuals in England and France.

Upon closer examination, we might be inclined to question whether there is
anything like a national culture in isolation. But does this mean there is
something like an integral European culture? Talking about Enlightenment in the
eighteenth century we are nevertheless talking about German, French, English, or
Scottish Enlightenments. Maybe we should focus more on process than on results --
specifically, the forms of exchange and influence (the media, travel, translation,
literary forms) and institutions (libraries, publishers, and collections), as
well, of course, as the persons behind the media and institutions.  In other words
let's talk about cultural transfer.

The panel takes up a topic recently discussed at a conference which took place in
Potsdam in May 2002, jointly sponsored by the Forschungszentrum Europäische
Aufklärung, Potsdam (Germany) and the Goethe Center for Central European Studies
at Rice University, Houston, TX. We invite scholars to discuss the question at
issue. Please submit topics and a short outline of your paper (500 words) no later
than Sept. 15 to one of the panel organizers:

Uwe Steiner                                                        John H. Zammito
Associate Professor of German                                 Professor of History
Rice University, Houston, TX                          Rice University, Houston, TX
ustein@rice.edu                                                       zammito@rice.edu

Uwe Steiner
Associate Professor
Department of German and Slavic Studies, MS # 32
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA
Tel.: +1-(713) 348 3243
Fax.: +1-(713) 348 4863
ustein@rice.edu
http://lang.rice.edu/steiner