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Internationale Konferenz – "Strange Encounters – Encountering Strangers: Experiences of Foreignness in the Long Eighteenth Century"

An international conference organized by Dr. Stefanie Fricke (CAS Researcher in Residence)

05.04.2011 – 06.04.2011

In the course of the long eighteenth century, the European states continually expanded their global influence. Rising numbers of people deployed all over the world as settlers, soldiers and administrators meant that ever more Europeans were confronted with foreign cultures and natural environments. Overseas trade also grew more global, exporting and importing exotic goods as well as people in the intercontinental slave trade. Voyages of exploration were eagerly followed by the general public, and all over Europe ‘curiosities’ from overseas were collected and displayed. And those who could not travel themselves could still experience foreignness by reading the ever increasing volumes of travel literature, watching representations of alien peoples on stage or looking at paintings depicting far-off cultures and landscapes.

These different encounters not only made it necessary to come to terms with foreign cultures and to integrate new knowledge, worldviews and products into European everyday life, but also posed the question what it meant to be British, French etc. in an increasingly global world.

In this interdisciplinary conference historians and literary scholars will present a number of predominantly British experiences of foreignness in the long eighteenth century and analyse how these encounters were depicted in various discourses.

Paper readers: Sebastian Domsch (Munich), Anke Fischer-Kattner (Munich), Michael Harbsmeier (Roskilde), Rosa Karl (Erlangen-Nuremberg), Sabrina Kessler (Munich), Peter Kitson (Dundee), Felicitas Menhard (Munich), Patricia Plummer (Duisburg-Essen), Stefan Römmelt (Tübingen), James Vigus (Munich), Charles Withers (Edinburgh), Tobias Wolffhardt (Munich).