Research topic: Cross-cultural encounters
Cross-cultural encounters have taken place throughout history in all parts of the world. They involve contacts and interactions of various types, whether peaceful or violent, between people from different backgrounds.
The term cultural encounters is used to refer to social relations, places and objects. They require mutual adjustment and learning, and seldom take place without conflict. Cultural encounters bring with them movement and change, whether as a result of tourism, migration, colonialism or war.
Cultural encounters challenge ideas about cultural homogeneity and the unchanging nature of traditions. They are also indicators of change and innovation.
Research into cultural encounters investigates questions concerning cultural translations, continuity and change, the meaning of borders, authenticity, hybridity and transcultural processes. We address questions linked to identity, the exchange of knowledge, the establishment of different social networks and the flexibility of borders – whether this concerns religion, culture or ethnicity.
Our studies provide insight into the places or contact zones where cultural encounters occur and where material and abstract forms of expression converge.