Transcultural Conversations. 1st Annual Graduate Conference in Intellectual History

Intellectual history at the EUI has thrived in recent years, manifest in the activities of the Intellectual History Working Group (IHWG) and its series of workshops, entitled ‘the EUI School of Intellectual History’, now in its fifth continuous year. The aim of these workshops has been to ‘eavesdrop’, as it were, upon conversations within the intellectual past – narrow or broad, direct or indirect, conventional or unconventional – and to then elucidate those dialogues into a broader discussion on the evolving nature and direction of intellectual history itself.


Intellectual history, broadly construed, includes not only more orthodox methodologies and themes, such as the anglophone history of political thought, but reflects a constructive diversity of approaches and media (social and cultural, literary and visual, micro-historical and transnational, to name but a few). It is the hope, therefore, that through a rich coming together of minds, our first conference can mirror the growing opportunities presented by a more multifarious and fluid conception of the discipline.


‘Transcultural conversations’ have a vital role in the generation, redefinition, and transformation of knowledge and ideas. Located within the intellectual past, these conversations are manifest in a range of modes, written and otherwise, which span across space, place, and time. More than simply evidencing the simple existence of influence between past cultures, these ‘transcultural’ relationships highlight how ideas, theories, and, eventually, practices are reconceived in a cultural flow, with myriad intellectual transformations enabled at various catalytic nodes of contact. In turn, by tracing these phenomena, it is possible to offer fresh scrutiny on the means by which shifting conceptual vocabularies, arguments, and edifices, may be constructed, shedding light on not only the creative power of translation, diffusion, and appropriation, but ultimately the very processes by which knowledge itself is generated and renewed.