Ausgewählte Publikationen

A Colonial Book Market: Peruvian Print Culture in the Age of Enlightenment

Agnes Gehbald

Based on the research for my PhD project, this volume provides a wholly original social history of books in late colonial Peru. From the second half of the eighteenth century onward, workshops in Lima and transoceanic imports supplied the market with unprecedented quantities of print publications. By tracing the variety of printed commodities that were circulating in the urban sphere, as well as analysing the spatiality of the trade and the materiality of the books themselves, I assess the meaning of print culture in the everyday lives of the viceroyalty. I reveal how books permeated late colonial society on a broad scale and how they figured as objects in the inventories of diverse individuals, both women and men, who, in previous centuries, had been far less likely to possess them. A Colonial Book Market uncovers how people in Peruvian cities gained access to reading material and participated in the global Enlightenment project.


Landscapes of Liberation: Mission and Development in Peru’s Southern Highlands, 1958 – 1988

Noah Oehri

Catholic mission from the mid-20th century onwards was complicated by geopolitical upheaval, church reform, and the emergent critique of the colonial power matrix to which the Church belonged. Missionary movements to Latin America coincided with visions for a progressive, radically transformative church.

Landscapes of Liberation expands scholarship into liberation theology’s reception in Andean America and critically examines the interplay of the Catholic Church as a global institution with parishes as local actors. Through source material from both sides of the Atlantic, this book charts how a transnational network of pastoral agents and laypeople in Peru’s southern highlands claimed mission and development as intertwined tenets of spiritual and social life throughout three decades of agrarian reform, activism, and social conflict. Ultimately, this book reveals how transformative theories for rural development yield contingent transformations: concrete change, yet contested liberation.

Link: Leuven University Press

Celtic Music and Dance in Cornwall: Cornu-Copia

Dr. Lea Hagmann

Focusing on the Cornish Music and Dance Revival, this book investigates the revivalists’ claims about Cornwall’s cultural distinctiveness and Celtic heritage, both which are presently used as arguments to promote the English county’s political status as an independent Celtic nation. The author describes two different revival movements that aim at reviving Cornwall’s culture but seem to have entirely different ideas about the concept of authentic Celto-Cornish music and dance. In the first part, historical sources connect Cornwall to its Celtic roots, with an analysis of how the early Cornish revivalists used, changed and adapted this material during the 1980s in order to create a Celto-Cornish revival corpus. In the second part, the book addresses the desire of the Cornish people to express their local and Celtic identities through music and dance, and various practices musicians and dancers have developed to do so. The Nos Lowen movement, which started in the year 2000, is important in this study because it has expanded and newly interpreted the concepts of ‘traditional’, ‘Celtic’ and ‘authentic’.

Link: Routledge

ACIS 30 years. Colombian scientific diaspora in Switzerland. A pioneering experience in the world

Dr. María del Pilar Ramírez Gröbli (ed.)

The book explores the successful trajectory of a scientific diaspora in North-South exchange. It is a pioneering experience in the world! In its management as a bridge and platform, it has enabled the transfer of knowledge and the exchange of knowledge in the transatlantic framework. It has acted as a driving force for the Colombian scientific diaspora in Switzerland, promoting the development of scientific work and creating opportunities for debate and reflection. It has also managed to generate inter-institutional synergies within and outside academia, becoming a platform for the creation of numerous scientific and technological research projects, driving innovation and dialogue between science and society.

The book is open access and can be consulted here.

Andrea Heidy Müller | Repensar la Revolución del Poncho

Critique of Authenticity

Thomas Claviez/Britta Sweers/Kornelia Imesch (eds.)

The volume provides a critical assessment of the concept of authenticity and gauges its role, significance and shortcomings in a variety of disciplinary contexts. Many of the contributions communicate with each other and thus acknowledge the enormous significance of this politically, morally, philosophically, and economically-charged concept that at the same time harbors dangerous implications and has been critically deconstructed. The volume shows that the alleged need or desire for authenticity is alive and kicking but oftentimes comes at a high price, connected to a culture of experts, authority and exclusionary strategies.


Andrea Heidy Müller | Repensar la Revolución del Poncho

Throwing the Moral Dice: Ethics and the Problem of Contingency

Thomas Claviez/Viola Marchi (eds.) 

More than a purely philosophical problem, straddling the ambivalent terrain between necessity and impossibility, contingency has become the very horizon of everyday life. Often used as a synonym for the precariousness of working conditions under neoliberalism, for the unknown threats posed by terrorism, or for the uncertain future of the planet itself, contingency needs to be calculated and controlled in the name of the protection of life.

The overcoming of contingency is not only called upon to justify questionable mechanisms of political control; it serves as a central legitimating factor for Enlightenment itself. In this volume, nine major philosophers and theorists address a range of questions around contingency and moral philosophy. How can we rethink contingency in its creative aspects, outside the dominant rhetoric of risk and dangerous exposure? What is the status of contingency—as the unnecessary and law-defying—in or for ethics? What would an alternative “ethics of contingency”—one that does not simply attempt to sublate it out of existence—look like?

The volume tackles the problem contingency has always posed to both ethical theory and dialectics: that of difference itself, in the difficult mediation between the particular and the universal, same and other, the contingent singularity of the event and the necessary generality of the norms and laws. From deconstruction to feminism to ecological thought, some of today’s most influential thinkers reshape many of the most debated concepts in moral philosophy: difference, agency, community, and life itself.


Andrea Heidy Müller | Repensar la Revolución del Poncho

Material Culture in Transit. Theory and Practice

Edited by Zainabu Jallo

Material Culture in Transit: Theory and Practice constellates curators and scholars actively working with material culture within academic and museal institutions through theory and practice. The rich collection of essays critically addresses the multivalent ways in which mobility reshapes the characteristics of artefacts, specifically under prevailing issues of representation and colonial liabilities. The volume attests to material culture as central to understanding the repercussions of problematic histories and proposes novel ways to address them. It is valuable reading for scholars of anthropology, museum studies, history and others with an interest in material culture.


Andrea Heidy Müller | Repensar la Revolución del Poncho

Repensar la Revolución del Poncho

Activismo católico y políticas de representación en el espacio andino del Ecuador (1955-1988)

Este libro ofrece el primer estudio histórico integral sobre la teología de la liberación en Ecuador. Al indagar más allá del llamado »Obispo de los Indios« (L. Proaño), la obra desmitifica las narrativas dominantes sobre el activismo católico postconciliar en los Andes. Este estudio, a partir de la investigación de archivo y la historia oral, explora los entrelazamientos entre el catolicismo progresista latinoamericano, el activismo religioso local, y la formación del movimiento indígena. Repensar la Revolución del Poncho arroja nuevas luces sobre las expresiones locales de un fenómeno transnacional, y sus vínculos con los discursos sobre derechos humanos y la cooperación internacional para el desarrollo.


Andrea Heidy Müller | Liberation Theology and the Others

Liberation Theology and the Others

Contextualizing Catholic Activism in 20th Century Latin America

Looking beyond prominent figures or major ecclesial events, Liberation Theology and the Others offers a fresh historical perspective on Latin American liberation theology. Thirteen case studies, from Mexico to Uruguay, depict a vivid picture of religious and lay activism that shaped the profile of the Latin American Catholic Church in the second half of the 20th century. Stressing the transnational character of Catholic activism and its intersections with prevalent discourses of citizenship, ethnicity or development, scholars from Latin America, the US, and Europe, analyze how pastoral renewal was debated and embraced in multiple local and culturally diverse contexts. Contributors explore the connections between Latin American liberation theology and anthropology in Peru, armed revolutionaries in highland Guatemala, and the implementation of neoliberalism in Bolivia. They identify conceptions of the popular church, indigenous religiosity, women’s leadership, and student activism that circulated among Latin American religious and lay activists between the 1960s and the 1980s. By revisiting the multifaceted and oftentimes contingent nature of church reforms, this edited volume provides fascinating new insights into one of the most controversial religious movements of the 20th century.


Britta Sweers, Sarah M. Ross | Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity

Cultural Mapping and Musical Diversity

‘Cultural mapping’ has become a central keyword in the UNESCO strategy to protect natural and world cultural heritage, including music traditions. As a tool to increase the awareness of cultural diversity it transforms the concept of intangible cultural heritage to visible items by establishing multi-dimensional profiles of cultures and communities. Cultural mapping has been used as a resource for a variety of purposes as broad as the analysis of conflict points and peace building, adaptation to climate change, sustainability management, as well as heritage debates and management. Music has been playing a significant role in each of these aspects. As this theme has rarely been explored within ethnomusicology, this collection approaches the topic of cultural mapping from four different thematic perspectives: The book starts out with historical and methodological reflections on cultural mapping in ethnomusicology, followed by an exploration on possible relation between nature/ landscape (and definition of such) and music/ sound. How exactly is landscape interrelated with music – and identified (and vice versa)? The second half focuses more specifically on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The articles not only address the broader political framework, but also thematic and geographic case studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage and music, as well as the pro of UNESCO’s endeavours.

Edited by Britta Sweers and Sarah M. Ross.
Sheffield, Bristol: Equinox Publishing, 2020.

María del Pilar Ramírez Gröbli – Paisajes sonoros del retorno

Melodien der Rückkehr. Palmöl, Zwangsvertreibung und Friedenskulturen im Postkonflikt Kolumbiens.

Dieses Buch stellt eine neuartige Analyse der Landkonflikte dar, die durch großflächige Ölpalmen-Plantagen in Kolumbien entstehen. Die Studie zeigt die grosse politische Dimension der Musik im Kontext des Postkonfliktes, den das kolumbianische Land durchläuft und untersucht die lokalen Auswirkungen der Ölpalmen-Monokulturen in den ländlichen Regionen Kolumbiens. Die Forschung befasst sich mit Strategien, Mechanismen und friedensfördernden Aktionen, die von den vertriebenen ländlichen Gemeinschaften gestartet wurden, um auf ihr Land zurückkehren zu können.

Anhand von drei Fallstudien von Gemeinschaften an der Atlantik- und Pazifikküste Kolumbiens und der Zusammenstellung von fast vierzig unveröffentlichten Liedern - die meisten davon im Vallenato-Rhythmus -, die von den ländlichen Gemeinschaften komponiert wurden, führt das Buch die musikalischen Produktionen zusammen, die in diesem Kontext entstanden ist, und bietet eine detaillierte Analyse von innen und über bäuerliche Gemeinschaftsprozesse, wobei die Rolle der Gemeinschaftskultur bei der Konflikttransformation untersucht wird.

Veröffentlicht von Iberoamericana-Vervuert 2020

Die Druckvorstufe dieser Publikation wurde vom Schweizerischen Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung unterstützt.

La edición de este libro ha contado con la ayuda del Fondo Nacional Suizo para la Investigación Científica.

© Iberoamericana, 2020
Amor de Dios, 1 – E-28014 Madrid
Tel.: +34 91 429 35 22
Fax: +34 91 429 53 97

© Vervuert, 2020
Elisabethenstr. 3-9 - D-60594 Frankfurt am Main
Tel.: +49 69 597 46 17
Fax: +49 69 597 87 43

ISBN 978-84-9192-104-2 (Iberoamericana)
ISBN 978-3-96456-904-2 (Vervuert)
ISBN 978-3-96456-905-9 (e-book)

Diseño de cubierta: Rubén Salgueiros
Depósito legal: M-13362-2020

Global History and Area Histories

Die Beiträge dieses Sonderheftes fokussieren auf das komplexe Verhältnis zwischen regionaler Expertise und globalen Perspektiven in der Geschichtswissenschaft. Während frühen Beiträgen zur Globalgeschichte oftmals der Vorwurf einer regional unausgewogenen und allzu harmonischen Erzählung einer immer stärker verschränkten Welt gemacht wurde, hat die traditionelle akademische und historiographische Unterscheidung zwischen verschiedenen Weltregionen vielfach über vorgestellte räumliche Grenzen hinausgehende vergleichende Ansätze und Perspektiven der Verflechtung erschwert. In vier aus einer 2015 vom Center for Global Studies an der Universität Bern organisierten Vorlesungsreihe hervorgegangenen Beiträgen diskutieren Spezialisten für verschiedene Weltregionen (Lateinamerika, Afrika, Asien und Osteuropa) die Chancen und Herausforderungen globalhistorischer Ansätze für die regionalhistorische Forschung. Weitere zwei Beiträge von Kollegen aus dem Feld der Globalgeschichte diskutieren die Frage, wie regionale Unterschiede innerhalb globalgeschichtlicher Ansätze reflektiert werden können oder sollten.

Hg., mit Stephan Scheuzger: Global History and Area Histories, Themenheft Comparativ.Zeitschrift für Globalgeschichte und vergleichende Gesellschaftsforschung, 2 (2019).

Dokumente zur Geschichte der europäischen Expansion

Band 8 der Dokumente zur Geschichte der europäischen Expansion bietet eine Einführung in die Geschichte des Endes des europäischen Kolonialsystems in den beiden Amerikas, Afrika und Asien im 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert. Auf der Grundlage einer Vielzahl an Quellen vermittelt die Publikation einen Eindruck von den zunehmenden Differenzen zwischen den Kolonialmächten Großbritannien, Frankreich, Niederlande, Spanien sowie Portugal und den von ihnen beherrschten Regionen in Übersee. Die Autorinnen und Autoren berücksichtigen dabei gleichermaßen die Unternehmungen, mit denen verschiedene Akteure in Europa die Kolonien an sich zu binden versuchten, wie auch die Emanzipationsbestrebungen der Kolonialbevölkerungen.
Die nach Regionen und Themen gegliederten Kapitel widmen sich zunächst den Mechanismen der so genannten „zweiten Eroberung“ der Kolonien, der auf den Siebenjährigen Krieg folgenden kolonialen Offensive der europäischen Mächte und verschiedenen Aspekten einer aufklärerischen Kolonialpolitik. Zudem werden die sich formierende Antisklavereibewegung und das erstarkende Selbstbewusstsein in den Kolonien vor dem Hintergrund struktureller Probleme beleuchtet. Die Rolle der Amerikanischen Revolutionen wird ebenso betrachtet wie die Rückwirkungen der Revolution von Saint-Domingue, Lateinamerikas Wege in die Unabhängigkeit und schließlich die Auflösung der alten Kolonialreiche.

Hg., mit Stefan Rinke: Dokumente zur Geschichte der europäischen Expansion, Bd. 8, Das Ende des alten Kolonialsystems, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2019.

EUXEINOS - Culture and Governance in the Black Sea Region.

"Beetls". Drawing from the notebook of Oleg Grin, a 13-year old boy from Vatutino (Cherasky Region, Soviet Ukraine), written in May 1972. The inscription on the drums probably refers to the Polish skiffle band No To Co. Private collection Sergei I. Zhuk.

Nr. 25-26 - 12.2018: Pop and Politics in Late Soviet Society. Ed. by Peter Collmer and Carmen Scheide.

Zur Aktualität von Jacques Ranciere. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2016.

Zur Aktualität von Jacques Ranciere. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2016.

Das Buch bietet einen hervorragenden Einstieg in die Arbeiten von Jacques Rancière. Zentrale Theorieannahmen werden dargestellt und deren Bedeutung für die Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften der Gegenwart aufgezeigt. Ist es notwendig, angesichts der Rezeptionsflut der letzten Jahren, überhaupt noch Worte bezüglich der Aktualität der Arbeiten von Jacques Rancière zu verlieren? Tatsächlich gibt es wahrscheinlich gegenwärtig wenige Philosophen, die in ganz unterschiedlichen Kontexten so stark aufgegriffen und zitiert werden wie der französische Denker Rancière. Dieses Buch führt - mit einem durchaus kritischen Impetus - in das Denken und in die Arbeiten Jacques Rancières ein.

Ko-Autoren: Dietmar J. Wetzel und Thomas Claviez

The Common Growl: Towards a Poetics of Precarious Community. New York: Fordham UP, 2016.

The Common Growl: Towards a Poetics of Precarious Community. New York: Fordham UP, 2016.

No longer able to read community in terms colored by a romantic nostalgia for homogeneity, closeness and sameness, or the myth of rational choice, we nevertheless face an imperative to think the common. The prominent scholars assembled here come together to articulate community while thinking seriously about the tropes, myths, narratives, metaphors, conceits, and shared cultural texts on which any such articulation depends. The result is a major contribution to literary theory, postcolonialism, philosophy, political theory, and sociology. 

Contributors: Jean-Luc Nancy, Thomas Claviez, Robert J. C. Young, Homi K. Bhabha, Djelal Kadir, Jacques Rancière, Paul Gilroy, Nancy Fraser, Dietmar Wetzel.

The Conditions of Hospitality: Ethics, Politics and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible. New York: Fordham UP, 2013.

The Conditions of Hospitality: Ethics, Politics and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible. New York: Fordham UP, 2013.

Hospitality is a multifaceted concept that has been received by, and worked into, various academic realms and disciplines, such as philosophy, politics, anthropology, aesthetics, ethics, and translation studies. The essays collected in this volume, by a wide range of international contributors, examine how, in the wake of the work of Levinas and the late Derrida, this concept has entered into and transformed the thinking of these disciplines.

Contributors: Pheng Cheah, Thomas Claviez, Anne Dufourmantelle, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Ulrik Pram Gad, Bonnie Honig, Luce Irigaray, Nikos Papastergiadis, Mireille Rosello, Paola Zaccaria.

“Globalization has brought us instant forms of communication and diverse networks of connectivity. But has it made us better neighbors to one another? Have we evolved new ethical and political forms of hospitality to accompany the crossing of borders, the subduing of national and regional sovereignties, as we take our first, faltering steps toward an international civil society? These essays raise questions fundamental to our political condition. But they do more than that. They make a compelling case for an aesthetic and ethical enhancement of our sense of political rights and responsibilities.”
Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University.

“This volume does something new with hospitality, reanimating and redeploying it in ethical, political, and aesthetic directions. Its effect is prismatic: It brings together and then reflects, refracts, and redistributes hospitality across the intellectual spectrum of philosophy, political theory, and cultural studies.”
William Robert, Syracuse University.

“A timely constellation of trenchant statements on one of the most ancient and most sacred human conventions. In an increasingly inhospitable world, this is an opportune and eloquent volume on hospitality as institution, as political act, and as ethical practice. An invaluable touchstone for interdisciplinary study of the subject.”
Djelal Kadir, Pennsylvania State University.

Aesthetics & Ethics: Moral Imagination From Aristotle to Levinas and From Uncle Tom’s Cabin to House Made of Dawn. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2008.

In recent years, American Studies have taken a turn toward the political. However, although poststructuralism and deconstruction have undermined numerous of the moral-philosophical dogmas of the Western metaphysical tradition, many of the political claims that the revisionist turn in American Studies has voiced still rest, if tacitly, on these moral and ethical assumptions. As the latter often collide with the theoretical axioms that inform these revisionist works, some resort to what one could call the “pathos of marginality” and rather vague concepts of “otherness.” Moreover, these political-ideological readings often completely blot out aesthetic aspects, as these are suspected to be carriers of implicit and hegemonic strategies of representation.

In the first part, this study analyses what role “otherness” plays in the most influential moral-philosophical approaches to date - from Aristotle and the Neo-Aristotelians (Alasdair MacIntyre, Martha Nussbaum) via Kantianism and its deconstructors (Jean-François Lyotard, J. Hillis Miller) to the works of Paul Ricoeur and Emmanuel Levinas - and sheds light on its highly problematic status in Western notions of justice. Moreover, on the background of these analyses it examines the role that aesthetics plays not only for, but within these approaches, with a special focus on what task literature is accorded to dramatize the clash of sameness and otherness.

Starting from a revised notion of the sublime, the second part “applies” the different approaches to four American novels: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Richard Wright’s Native Son, and N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, and examines how far the moral-philosophical systems carry to elucidate these texts. What becomes clear is that none of these works can be captured in their complexity by either one moral philosophy or one political agenda, in that every literary “exemplification” of such theory inevitably falls prey to the treacherous dynamics of the example - a dynamics that inhabits literature and haunts ethics, and that defies literature’s instrumentalization by either ethics or ideologies.

Claviez’s book is a notable contribution to the field of ethics and aesthetics. The author moves with ease between the leading representatives of the two main trends within the ethical turn, spelling out their theories on alterity and analysing with rigour their different stances on the particular otherness of the fictional text… a must for scholars and advanced students of ethics, aesthetics and American studies, interested in exploring the synergies between ethics and literature.

Aesthetics and Ethics avoids sketchy presentations and provides the reader with a thorough and highly elaborated exposition of the theories… Claviez has produced an excellent book, impressive in its scope and a perfect blend of theory and analysis. His mastery at unravelling dense theories is patent throughout. He guides the reader smoothly through the intricacies of ethics and aesthetics, from Aristotle to Paul Ricoeur. The most refreshing aspect of the book is Claviez’s wit, a rarity in academic writing.

Bárbara Arizti, Atlantis

Through his spirited confrontations with major thinkers like Nussbaum, McIntyre, Ricoeur and Levinas, Claviez provides insightful answers to complex moral conundrums and at the same time explores and highlights literature’s openness to a wide range of modern ethicophilosophical interpretations. Aesthetics & Ethics is a notable read that will appeal not only to scholars with an interest in the field of Ethics and Literature, but to all those interested in the current status of literary theory and/or moral philosophy.

Lefteris Kalospyros, European journal of American Studies

Grenzfälle: Mythos – Ideologie – American Studies. Trier: wvt, 1998

Obwohl die Begriffe “Mythos” und “Ideologie” für sich genommen Gegenstand zahlloser Untersuchungen in den Bereichen der Wissenssoziologie, Anthropologie, Politik- und Literaturwissenschaft geworden sind, so existiert bis heute keine umfassende Analyse des Verhältnisses dieser beiden Konzepte. Diese Lücke schließt die Studie Grenzfälle: Mythos - Ideologie - American Studies.

Anhand der bedeutendsten neueren Beiträge zur Mythos- und Ideologietheorie - u.a. von Max Horkheimer und Theodor W. Adorno, Hans Blumenberg, Kurt Hübner, Giambattista Vico, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Karl Mannheim, Louis Althusser, Juergen Habermas, Pierre Bourdieu und Clifford Geertz - entwirft der Autor einen positiven Mythosbegriff, der der weitverbreitenen Tendenz, den Mythos qua Mystifizierung der Ideologie gleichzusetzen, entgegentritt. In einem zweiten Teil wird auf der Grundlage eines geschärften definitorischen Instrumentariums das sich ändernde Verhältnis dieser beiden Konzepte in der Geschichte der American Studies - von der Myth & Symbol School bis zum New Historicism - erstmalig untersucht. Zu den hier untersuchten Ansätzen zählen die Beiträge von Henry Nash Smith, Leo Marx, Richard Slotkin, Annette Kolodny, Will Wright, John Cawelti und Sacvan Bercovitch.

Durch die stark interdisziplinär angelegte Ausrichtung der Untersuchung ist dieses Buch nicht nur für Amerikanisten, sondern auch für Soziologen, Politologen, Philosophen und Kulturwissenschaftler von Interesse.

“It is obvious that both Claviez’ notion of what his study is to achieve and the extraordinary number of complex approaches he considers demand great care and analytical competence … However, [he] proves to be always in full command of his material… Hidden assumptions and implications are revealed, scientific disputes are commented upon with great expertise, and the contribution of every scholar is critically appreciated… Claviez’ critical revision reveals a great deal of self-confidence, a high intellectual level, and is refreshingly combative… [A]n impressive and significant contribution to the field of American Studies.”

Georg Schiller, Amerikastudien/American Studies