Conference ‘Constructing America, Defining Europe. Perceptions of the Transatlantic Other, 1900-2000’10 nov - 12 nov 2017
On 10, 11 and 12 November 2017 the conference ‘Constructing America | Defining Europe. Perceptions of the Transatlantic Other, 1900-2000’ will take place. The conference invites scholars to consider how the mutual perceptions of “America” and “Europe” have evolved in the twentieth century. This event is organised by the Translantis Project, that is led by Prof. Joris van Eijnatten (Cultural History), Prof. Toine Pieters (Freudenthal Institute) and Dr Jaap Verheul (Cultural History).
Complexity and hybridity
America’s political and cultural influence has generated controversy and resistance as well as inspiring emulation and adaptation. However, since the late 1990s, the widespread perception of an “Americanization” of Europe, to which many scholars subscribed, has been replaced by a focus on cultural interaction and local appropriation. This shift in outlook, with its emphasis on the complexity and hybridity of cultural interaction has opened new areas of study. This conference follows this shift and investigates the way cultures on both sides of the northern Atlantic perceived, represented, interacted with, and changed each other. It does so by drawing attention to cultural perceptions and to the overarching patterns, domestic functions, and geopolitical contexts of those constructions.
Scholars will examine how understandings of European culture, and American culture, have been formed, have influenced each other, and how references to America and Europe have circulated transnationally. How have groups involved in transatlantic exchanges innovated cultural practices or identities by adapting or rejecting features attributed to the other? How have such transnational exchanges and relations created hybrid identities, cultural objects, structures, institutions? Confirmed keynote speakers include Prof. Mary Nolan and Prof. Thomas Bender.
The Translantis Project
The full name of the Translantis Project is “Digital Humanities Approaches to Reference Cultures: The Emergence of the United States in Public Discourse in the Netherlands, 1890-1990′. The program uses digital humanities tools to analyse how the United States have served as a cultural model – a reference culture – for the Netherlands in the long twentieth century. Cultural historians, information scientists, and text-mining experts at Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam and the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, in The Hague, will use advanced text mining technologies to address this question. From Utrecht University, Prof. Joris van Eijnatten, Prof. Toine Pieters, Dr Jaap Verheul, Dr José de Kruif, Dr Pim Huijnen, Melvin Wevers MA, Jesper Verhoef MA and Lisanne Walma MA are involved in the project.