Dr Marin Trenk plans to investigate not just the life experiences of those concerned, but also the functions and historical roles which the cultural defectors on both sides--in other words, the `Indianized' white people and the `Europeanized' Indians--played in the encounter between two worlds. The project will begin by concentrating on those factors in the European and Indian cultures which determined whether outsiders were assimilated or excluded. The tension between understanding of self and perception of others to which cultural defectors were subject will also be investigated. An attempt will also be made to identify the possibilities and limits of intercultural learning-processes using a number of topics that are particularly susceptible to intercultural stereotyping. The project will also examine the many important and varied roles which `culture-swappers' were able to play as mediators and `intercultural brokers'--either as agents of change or as opponents of any kind of rapprochement between the cultures.
The project findings will then be compared with the results of investigations into the southern Pacific, where the trend to culture-swapping in the early nineteenth century was very much more pronounced--and has so far been much more efficiently and thoroughly investigated.
Contact: Prof. Werner Schiffauer, Lehrstuhl für vergleichende Kultur-Sozialanthropologie, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Postfach 1786, D-15207 Frankfurt/Oder, Tel.: +49-335-5534-644.
The programme is being run by the Internationales Zentrum (IZ) in Tübingen (under the direction of Dr H. Gerstein), in collaboration with Professor G. Figal (of the philosophy faculty at Tübingen) and Professor G. Meyer (of the Institute of Political Sciences at Tübingen). It is scheduled to run for three years and will cover, amongst other things, `Political Culture and Democratization in Post-communist Societies'. The programme is being overseen by a number of international boards of directors comprising academics from east and west.
A combination of summer schools for the postgraduate students, organizational workshops for the participating teaching staff, and research trips to the east for the best Western students and vice versa will build on each other and form a continuous period of collaboration by the up-and-coming academics both with one another and with the teaching staff.
Contact: Dr Hannelore Gerstein, Geschäftsführerin, Internationales Zentrum, Universität Tübingen, Wilhlemstr. 20B, D-72074 Tübingen, Tel.: +49-7071-297-4156, Fax: +49-7071-297-7352, e-mail: email@example.com, http://volkswagen-stiftung-de/presse99/pm06htm
Contact: Dr. Renate Loskill, Referat 423, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, D-53170 Bonn, Tel.: +49-228-573207, Fax: +49-228-573601, e-mail: Renate.Loskill@MBMF.BUND400.DE