Universiteit Leiden

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Modern and Contemporary Studies (1800−Present)

Mobility, Globalisation, and Interculturality

Mobility, Globalisation, and Interculturality is one of the six research themes of the LUCAS Modern and Contemporary cluster.

Globalisation points at the global interconnectedness in the past and present of peoples, cultures, processes, and ideas. It calls for studying the global currency of categories and ideas, and the processes of cultural translation to which they have been subjected, while also scrutinising the inequalities and power relations involved in these processes: between centres and peripheries or at the intersection of ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and class. It also calls for attention to human mobility in its diverse, uneven, forms – from types of travel and tourism to migration and refugeehood, past and present, across the Global North and South. Local contexts are of utmost importance in understanding these processes, but are understood as interwoven with broader, global developments and transnational trends. Globalisation thus functions as a frame of reference within which we can critically examine the manifold politics and histories of human mobility and cultural translation.

This theme encompasses research into a wide range of cultural practices such as cultural appropriation, hybridisation, adaptation, travelling concepts, the circulation of ethnic and other stereotypes, cultural encounters and conflicts, and issues of interpretation and untranslatability. It also draws attention to the resonance of colonial histories and their afterlives in the global present through forms of neocolonialism, as well as the importance of postcolonial and decolonial perspectives in alternative narratives of the present and future.

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