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What Autobiographical Writings Reveal about Other Cultures

Two Lectures by International Scholars Part of CAS Salon at Freie Universität

№ 64/2010 from Mar 18, 2010

Experiences described in letters or autobiographical writings can be classified only in the context of the origin, cultural background, or gender of the author. How historical interpretation can benefit from these self-reports beyond their subjectivity is the theme of the 10th Salon devoted to transregional studies held by the Center for Area Studies (CAS) of Freie Universität. “Transcultural Autobiography, or The Lives of Others” is the lecture event to be held on Wednesday, March 24. Interested members of the public are welcome to attend. Advance registration is not required. The lectures will be held in English. The CAS Salon is part of the international closing conference held by the “Self-Narratives in Transcultural Perspective” research group at Freie Universität. The group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

In lectures to be presented at the CAS Salon, two international scholars will focus on the issue of what lessons can be drawn from the historical study of autobiographical writings. Prof. Dr. James Amelang, professor of early modern history at Universidad Autónoma, Madrid (Spain) and Dr. Jacqueline Van Gent, lecturer in medieval and early modern history and gender studies at the University of Western Australia, argue in favor of an interdisciplinary approach. It should be culturally comparative and take into account a gender perspective and the social context, such as colonial history.

The researchers in the "Transcultural Autobiography, or The Lives of Others" DFG-funded research group investigate how individuals across cultures and historical time periods describe their own lives and specific social interactions in autobiographical writings. They analyze these self-narratives from a cultural and social perspective.

The Salon Transregional Studies series  – as well as the Center for Area Studies itself – aims to provide a forum for interdisciplinary discussion on transregional and transcultural interrelations.

Time and Place:

  • March 24, 2010, 6:30 –8:30 p.m. CAS will be serving drinks following the lectures.
  • Henry Ford Building, Freie Universität, Senate Meeting Hall (2nd floor), Garystraße 35, 14195 Berlin (subway stop: Thielplatz, U3)

Further Information

  • About the Salon: Anja vom Stein, Center for Area Studies (CAS), Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-52881, Email: geschaeftsstelle@cas.fu-berlin.de
  • About the closing conference of the “Self-Narratives in Transcultural Perspective”: Angela Heimen, Friedrich Meinecke Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30/ 838-54045, Email: ange-la.heimen@fu-berlin.de