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Humanities 2017, 6(1), 4; doi:10.3390/h6010004

Genealogies and Challenges of Transcultural Studies

Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Academic Editor: Albrecht Classen
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract

My introductory essay discusses some of transculturalism’s enduring conceptual challenges from the perspective of the history of German cultural and political theory. I am particularly interested in the discursive space between Immanuel Kant’s individualism and Johann Gottfried Herder’s and Moses Mendelssohn’s concepts of cultural identity. My hope is that such a discussion can enrich some of our current questions, such as: Have culture studies placed too much emphasis on difference, rather than on commonality? Can a renewed interest in the cosmopolitan individual surpass the privileged position of academic or upper-class internationalism? Can concepts of transculturality avoid the pitfalls of homogenizing politics or overstretched individualism? After mentioning a few challenges to current conceptions of transculturalism that may arise in the wake of recent developments in the natural sciences, I end my remarks with a brief example of a possible intersection of literary studies and science. The essay engages three topics: (a) the question of culture; (b) transcultural participation; and (c) transcultural empathy and the sciences. View Full-Text
Keywords: political philosophy; transculturalism; empathy; Foucault; Kant; Herder; Mendelssohn political philosophy; transculturalism; empathy; Foucault; Kant; Herder; Mendelssohn
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fischer, B. Genealogies and Challenges of Transcultural Studies. Humanities 2017, 6, 4.

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