The 11th. Annual Meeting 2019

Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia The 11th. General Assembly and The 11th. Annual Meeting 2019 “Moving Knowledges in East Asia and Beyond—Global Networks in the History of Science and Technology “

  • [Date]   May 11 (Saturday), May 12 (Sunday), 2019
  • [place]  Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Kollegienhaus, Universitaetsstrasse 15, 91054 Erlangen
  • [Annual Meeting PDF]  available in English, Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, and Korean

In the past decades, the history of science  has experienced a number of paradigmatic changes, ranging from the postcolonial and poststructural turn to the cultural and social turn. These changes considerably shifted our understanding of the social, political and cultural function of knowledge in a rapidly globalizing world, a globalization that had already started in the 19th century. Owing to the long-held assumption of a universal modernity emerging from European enlightenment both the epistemologies and taxonomies of knowledge moving from one continent to the other have long been structured along the well-known dichotomies of modern vs. traditional or foreign vs. indigenous knowledge. Though historians have increasingly engaged in dissolving these dichotomies there is still an important lacuna to fill, namely to go beyond the research of knowledge itself (is X indigenous/colonial/Western knowledge?), and to identify the different political, social and cultural actors participating in the production and dissemination of knowledge. It goes without saying that the study of knowledge transfer among East Asian countries as well as the one between East Asia and European countries does not start with how passive recipients in country A react to an impact from country B. Knowledge is never static, nor is it the result of the discovery of universal truths. Previous research on colonial knowledge and knowledge in imperial contexts has pointed out that it is continuously mediated, socially (re)defined, accepted and sometimes even rejected. Considering that both appropriation and rejection are primarily shaped socially and culturally it is imperative to develop a more adequate approach to reconstruct the modes of knowledge formation that focuses on the role of transmitters involved in the transfer and migration of knowledge (just like the participants of the 2019 annual meeting). The focus of this meeting is on the role of networks, be they organized nationally or transnationally, be they purely personal or understood as a network of actors, institutions and knowledge resources. We thereby hope to contribute to a history of knowledge beyond Eurocentrism that does not simply reproduce the national or ethnic paradigm according to which a Chinese, a Japanese or a Korean science is a comparable entity to “Western” or “European” science. In addition, we propose to go beyond bare definitions of what knowledge is and rather try to achieve a better understanding of the dynamic formation and dissemination of knowledge. The Humanities at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany with its interdisciplinary research focus on Knowledge – Temporality – Cultural Comparison and the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities “Fate, Freedom and Prognostication” will provide a rewarding environment for the upcoming 2019 Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia. We look forward to everyone’s participation in the effort to make new contributions to the field of East Asian cultural Interaction studies.

Theme this Year

Moving Knowledges in East Asia and Beyond—Global Networks in the History of Science and Technology

Panel Themes

1. Global Histories of Circulating Knowledges 2. A Transnational Conceptual History of Science and Technology 3. Knowledge Epistemologies after Needham 4. Rationalities in Knowledge Making 5. Absolute Truth and Absolute Knowledge in Political Rule 6. The Role of Scientific Institutions and Organizations in 19th and 20th century East Asia 7. Travelling Persons and Travelling Knowledge 8. Imperial/national/local knowledges in interaction 9. Translating and Transmitting Knowledge in Literature, History and Philosophy 10. Miscellaneous topics in research on the history of East Asian knowledge

Meeting Schedule

Arrival: May 10, 2019 (Friday)
Annual Meeting: May 11-12, 2019 (Saturday and Sunday)
Departure: May 13, 2019 (Monday)

Application Schedule and Announcement of Selections

The conference will be divided into four categories; keynote addresses, panel sessions, individual presentations, and papers by PhD candidates (*Only Graduates in Doctor’s Program when applying). We encourage Society members to refer to the separate list of panel sessions to decide which one to join. Each panel will be allotted one hour and forty minutes, and will have one moderator and one to two commentators. Presenters may also serve as moderators or commentators. Please submit the application form and an abstract (not more than 400 characters in your presentation language (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), including an English abstract of 300 words for each submission) to the Organizing Committee if you wish to participate.

docApplication form (docx) for download;  English,  Chinese (Simplified),  Japanese,  Korean

Deadline for application submission is Friday, December 21, 2018. After the Organizing Committee reviews your application and abstract, we will send out formal invitations around the end of January, 2019.


All participants who are not invited guests are responsible for their own round-trip transportation and lodging expenses. Conference participation is 100€ for full members and 70€ for student members. Please pay in cash (€) on site.

To Apply for Participation, Contact:

The Organizing Committee for the 11th Annual Meeting of the Society for Cultural Interaction in East Asia (

Head organizer:
Marc A. Matten (Professor, Contemporary Chinese History, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
Auxiliary organizers:

Hsiao-ti Li, President (Professor, Department of Chinese and History, City University of Hong Kong)
Keiichi Uchida, Vice-President (Professor, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Kansai University)
Fabian Schäfer (Professor, Japanese Studies, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
Takao Fujita, Councilor (Professor, Faculty of Literature, Kansai University)
De-min Tao, Councilor (Professor, Faculty of Literature, Kansai University)

Guowei Shen, Secretary General (Professor, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Kansai University) Margarete Darr(Administrative Coordinator, Department of Ancient World and Asian Cultures, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)