Newspapers and Transculturality:
New Approaches to Working with Historical Newspapers
Cluster of Excellence, “Asia and Europe in a Global Context”
University of Heidelberg, Germany
January 30-31, 2014
Proposal deadline: October 20, 2013
Conference Paper Submission: December 31, 2013
The Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at the University of Heidelberg is organizing a workshop that seeks to bring together scholars who are studying the history of newspapers or else intensively using historical newspapers as their primary sources.
After their first publication, newspapers have been broadly used by scholars in various disciplines to understand history. The application of newspapers as primary sources, however, has conformed to traditional approaches that focus on the political nation-state and geographic boundaries. Frequently, a simple national modifier can quickly categorize a periodical. For instance, the New York Times is called an American newspaper, the Shenbao a Chinese newspaper, or El Comercio the first Peruvian newspaper. The use of these sources can hardly escape conventional perspectives based on national interests and state policies without a deeper probe into the inner workings of editorial procedures and sometimes contradictory messages that some newspapers have given. A transcultural approach to studies of historical newspapers or to those using them as primary sources, looking past national affiliations and focusing instead on editors and readers, is an alternative option to the conventional methodology.
The conference would welcome contributions that will reach beyond national boundaries and pose questions to the traditional historiographical application of newspaper as primary sources. This event seeks to bring together scholars who demonstrate innovative methods in studying newspapers and to offer space to discuss different methodological approaches to analyzing transcultural elements of newspaper-making. Professor Rudolf Wagner (Harvard/Heidelberg) will deliver a keynote speech, and depending on the final roster of participants, the program may extend to a third day, with a presentation on one standard method of newspaper research, Qualitative Content Analysis.
To apply, please send a short CV and a 300-word proposal by October 20, 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Successful applicants will be requested to submit a full paper of 5,000 words maximum by December 31, 2013. Depending on the final budgetary situation, the conference intends to cover full accommodation costs and partial travel expenses.
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