Zurück zur Übersicht Freitag, 16.06.2023


09.30 Uhr

Annual Worldmaking Conference 2023 - The Making of Epochal Events— Narrating Turning Points in Chinese History:

9:30 – 11:00

Panel III. Urban/Rural Futures: Narrating Changing Worlds in City and Countryside

Chair: Björn Alpermann (University of Würzburg)

Carwyn Morris (Leiden University): Wanghong Urbanism: The Making of Urban Digital Spectacle in China and Europe

Antonie Angerer (University of Würzburg) & Elena Meyer-Clement (University of Copenhagen):(Self)Representations of Rurality and ‘New Farmers’ on Douyin

Tan Xiaohong (Guangdong University of Technology / Fellow Heidelberg): Urban Gardening in Guangzhou

Li Xin (Nanjing Agricultural University / Fellow Würzburg): Housing Insecurity and Rural Migrants’ Coping Strategies during the COVID-19 Pandemic in China

11:00 – 11:30

Coffee Break

11:30 – 13:00

Panel IV: Worldmaking in Motion: Encounters and Ruptures in Travel and Exile

Chair: Barbara Mittler (University of Heidelberg)

Wang Shengyu (Soochow University / Fellow Heidelberg): Disknowing the Globe: Steam Navigation, Maritime Disaster, and Terra Incognita in Wang Tao’s Late-Nineteenth Century Marvel Tales

Li Fupeng (China University of Political Science and Law / Fellow Berlin): Translingual Making of Worlds through Chinese Global Travels (1905–1906)

Janice H. Jeong (University of Göttingen): From Heavenly Square to Arabian Mecca: Modern Travels and Spatio-Temporal Returns to the Home of Islam

Wai-Yip Ho (Honorary Research Fellow, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter / Fellow Göttingen): Global Ismaili in China: Dawoodi Bohra Diaspora from Gujarat to Hong Kong

13:00 – 14:00

Lunch Break

14:00 – 15:30

Panel V. Between Continuity and Epistemic Rupture:Negotiating Change in the Chinese History of Science and Technology

Chair: Sebastian Conrad (Freie Universität Berlin)

Chen Hailian (Leipzig University / Fellow Heidelberg): Converging Western Science of Nature and Chinese Art of Human-Nature Interactions: Reflections on a Japanese- and German-Trained Engineer-Reformer Ma Junwu’s (1881–1940) Educational Practices

Emily Tsui (MPI for the History of Science, Berlin / Former Team Member Heidelberg): Tan Sitong and the Ether

Sally Chengji Xing (MPI for the History of Science, Berlin / Columbia University / Fellow Göttingen): Teaching Applied Sciences or Research Pure Sciences? —Debates about the Prioritized Sponsorship of Science when China Foundation was Established in 1924

Matthias Schumann (University of Heidelberg): Economic Development, National Sovereignty, and the Fight against Superstitions: Fei Hongnian 費鴻年 (1900–1993) and the Diverse Roles of Zoology in Republican China (1912–1949)

15:30 – 16:00
Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:30

Keynote Address II by Andrew B. Kipnis (The Chinese University of Hong Kong): Imagining Social Change


Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS)


Voßstrasse 2

69115 Heidelberg

Homepage Veranstaltung



Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS)

Homepage Veranstalter




Alle Termine der Veranstaltung 'Annual Worldmaking Conference 2023 - The Making of Epochal Events— Narrating Turning Points in Chinese History':

“The epochal event [is] (1) an emerging category of a new kind of historical thought [that] is best conceived of as (2) a hyper-historical event that (3) brings about a ‘new reality’ and thereby (4) separates two worlds (5) in its capacity to signal the most momentous transformative changes (6) that extend beyond the limits of human experience (7) both in the world of human affairs and in the more-than-human world of the human-technology-nature entanglement.”[1]

Chinese history has been marked by radical changes in society, culture and the environment, which are often linked to specific events: famines, rebellions, inventions. This conference seeks to investigate how such epochal events determine our understanding of Chinese history and structures its narration. Potential contributions shall investigate how these events were reflected upon by specific actors and in specific media, and how they shaped institutions and social structures. A special emphasis shall be placed on how such events are recorded (in texts, images, statistics etc.) and situated in a particular vision of the Chinese past and future, arguing for their “epochal” quality.

We seek to engage with the question in how far such events are “epochal” at all, whether they necessarily mark a break with the past, thus promising the dawning of a new epoch, a “new reality” (Simon), or whether the “epochal” can also be constructed to make a claim of historical discontinuity that might be quite at odds with the experiences of the actors involved. With Bernard Stiegler we also want to ask whether there is a way to end the epochal: the “epoch of the absence of epoch,” the absence of any collective vision for the future that he attributes to the current disjuncture of our technical and social systems.[2] Contributors are invited to consider how such epochal events or certain types of periodization impacted in their own fields of specialty – if they did at all. They are also free to introduce events that are meaningful within a given discipline, community region, or time period but ignored or marginalized in other narratives – suggesting alternative epochal divides.

[1] Zoltan B.Simon, The Epochal Event: Transformations in the Entangled Human, Technological, and Natural Worlds, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, 114.

[2] Bernard Stiegler. The Age of Disruption: Technology and Madness in Computational Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity 2019, chap. 2.

Donnerstag, 15. Juni 2023, 13.30 Uhr

Annual Worldmaking Conference 2023 - The Making of Epochal Events— Narrating Turning Points in Chinese History

Freitag, 16. Juni 2023, 09.30 Uhr

Annual Worldmaking Conference 2023 - The Making of Epochal Events— Narrating Turning Points in Chinese History

Samstag, 17. Juni 2023, 09.15 Uhr

Annual Worldmaking Conference 2023 - The Making of Epochal Events— Narrating Turning Points in Chinese History