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US Embassy Hosts International Conference on 19th century Transatlantic Cultural Relations

April 16th, 2014
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News from Berlin - The U.S. Embassy in Berlin, in conjunction with the Mühlenberg Center for American Studies, the German Research Foundation and Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, will host the ‘Traveling Traditions: Nineteenth Century Negotiations of Cultural Concepts in Transatlantic Intellectual Networks’ conference tomorrow. The event will run until Friday April 19th at Martin Luther University in Halle, southern Germany.

In the past few decades, academic focus in the humanities has switched the focus from the intellectual influence of the ‘dead white males’ of Western civilization and the concept of Western canon, to a synthesis of contrasting views on literatures and cultures. Due to this change in thinking, the nineteenth-century intellectuals in both Europe and the Americas have been extensively scrutinized in critical discourse. However there are numerous groundbreaking studies that examine the philosophical engagement of groups of noteworthy American authors and social critics with British intellectuals, asserting that American critics aided in forming a humane liberalism in the latter half of the nineteenth century. This event will extend this analysis of political and social reformers, discussing how nineteenth-century intellectuals negotiated cultural traditions across the Atlantic.

In particular, the dialogue will focus on a small batch of cultural concepts such as beauty, art, virtue, imagination and taste. These concepts are easily transferred between cultures and are altered along their transatlantic journeys. The conference aims to analyze the roles of these traveling concepts, particularly within the domain of transatlantic cultures, and to follow their paths within ever-growing transnational networks. The event will discuss the influence of intellectuals, journalists, poets, authors, artists, transcendentalists, art critics, literary critics, teachers and philosophers. Many German and American academics will speak at the event. For further information visit

News from Berlin - Berlin Global