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    A tropical Papageno: Claude Levi-Strauss and Roberto Ipureu in Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Martins, Luciana (2011) A tropical Papageno: Claude Levi-Strauss and Roberto Ipureu in Mato Grosso, Brazil. In: Agents of Transculturation: Border-Crossers, Mediators, Go-Betweens, 29 Sep - 01 Oct 2011, Rostock, Germany. (Unpublished)

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    Conferences synopsis: The conference will bring together experts from diverse disciplines and places around the globe whose work is concerned with the lives and works of people who acted as agents between cultures. Ever since antiquity, but increasingly since the global transformation of the world order in the early modern period, communication between members of different cultural groups depended on translators, diplomats, traders, and other specialists with a knowledge of both cultures. Successful communication and traffic depended on the mediation of persons who had been exposed, often in their childhood or through captivities, to the customs and languages of both cultures involved in the contact. Other border-crossers and go-betweens acted as missionaries, traders, political refugees, beachcombers, pirates, anthropologists, actors in zoos, runaway slaves, itinerant doctors and many more. Because of their frequently precarious lives, the written traces left by these figures are often thin. While some of their lives have to be carefully reconstructed through critical readings of the documents left by others (frequently by their enemies), others have left autobiographical texts which allow for a richer assessment of their function as cultural border-crossers and mediators. Besides discussing the function of cultural go-betweens in general, the symposium also wants to address the problem of individual agency and the limits imposed on it by systemic forces, as well as the discursive rules of scholarship which guide our perspective on the lives and work of cultural mediators – moving between the extremes of pure biographism on the one hand and the effacement of agency by the over-accentuation of structural forces on the other. How do people living between cultures and constantly having to juggle their lives between different cultural codes carve out a space of agency that is also potentially a source of change? Which role do aspects of gender, social estate, professional identity, racial, religious, and generational identity (among others) play in this regard? Which options – next to the mastery of various languages – did cultural go-between have to make themselves at home in two (or more) cultures at once? How did they gain access to self-representation and cultural authority – a “voice”? How is their search for identity affected by the practical necessity of camouflage, masquerade, and trickery? How were/are these figures functionalized and mythologized in scholarly and popular discourses of collective (esp. national) identity? How can our knowledge of these cross-cultural lives influence our perspective on the world (past and present) in a global age? These are only some of the questions to be explored at this symposium.


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies, Centre for (CILAVS), Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2013 10:11
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:32


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