Georgia On My Mind – Monica In My Heart

by Bettina Hofmann, Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Monica Junejas internationale Vernetzung und transnationale Aktivitäten, die ihre Forschungen erfordern, die aber vor allem ihren vielfältigen Interessen entsprechen, sind bekannt. In meinem Beitrag knüpfe ich an ihren Forschungsaufenthalt an der Emory University 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia an. Wie bei Ray Charles’ Song „Georgia On My Mind“ schwingt Nostalgie mit, wenn ich mich an die Woche im Februar vor dreizehn Jahren erinnere, als ich sie in Atlanta besuchte. Als Amerikanistin und Literaturwissenschaftlerin war ich besonders an den Spuren der afroamerikanischen Bürgerrechtsbewegung interessiert. Im Folgenden, so hoffe ich, werden die Schnittpunkte mit Monicas Interessen deutlich: dass Kunstwerke immer in Kontexten entstehen und eine gesellschaftspolitische Dimension beinhalten.

Monica Juneja in Atlanta, 2008. © Mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Bettina Hofmann.

Ausgehend von unserem gemeinsamen Bezugspunkt Atlanta möchte ich im folgenden Blogbeitrag untersuchen, wie Afroamerikaner*innen auf das Versprechen des amerikanischen Traums von der Kolonialzeit bis heute reagiert haben. Zugegebenermaßen kann das nur in einem sehr gerafften Überblick erfolgen. Continue reading “Georgia On My Mind – Monica In My Heart”

Witz – Ironie – Camouflage: Erfahrungsräume und Erwartungshorizonte gebildeter Frauen zwischen 1770 und 1820

by Frank Konersmann, Bielefeld University

I.

Hintergrund und Ausgangspunkt der folgenden Betrachtungen bilden Erfahrungen sowohl mit Selbstzeugnissen der anhaltinischen Prinzessin und späteren lippischen Fürstin Pauline (1769-1820) als auch mit solchen ihrer Zeitzeugen, die mit ihr in Kontakt standen und sich schriftlich über sie äußerten. Anlässlich ihres 200. Todestages am 29. Dezember 2020 hat der Verfasser dieser Zeilen einen biographischen Essay über diese Vertreterin des deutschen Hochadels veröffentlicht.[i] Herangezogen wurden Briefe, Gedichte, Vorträge und veröffentlichte Traktate, die sie von ihrem 15. Lebensjahr an als Prinzessin seit 1784 verfasste, sowie Stellungnahmen, Kommentare und Entscheidungen, die sie als Fürstin seit 1796 und dann als vormundschaftliche Regentin des Fürstentums Lippe seit 1802 niederschrieb und veranlasste.

Bei dieser aus dem alten Adelsgeschlecht der Askanier stammenden Frau handelt sich um eine herausragende Figur der westfälischen und insbesondere der lippischen Erinnerungskultur. So nehmen unterschiedliche Gruppierungen und Institutionen dieser ostwestfälischen Region bis in die unmittelbare Gegenwart hinein auf sie Bezug,[ii] zumal sie dem lippischen Fürstenstaat zu Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts durch ihr außenpolitisches Engagement und diplomatisches Geschick wiederholt die politische Unabhängigkeit sicherte. Darüber hinaus ist ihr in der Diakoniegeschichte[iii] und in der jüngeren Frauen- und Gendergeschichte[iv] wiederholt gedacht worden. Denn als lippische Fürstin und Regentin trat sie ungewöhnlich durchdacht und auch entschieden mit juristischen und staatsrechtlichen sowie pädagogischen und wohlfahrtstaatlichen Initiativen und Maßnahmen hervor. Continue reading “Witz – Ironie – Camouflage: Erfahrungsräume und Erwartungshorizonte gebildeter Frauen zwischen 1770 und 1820”

Sensing History: The Memorial “The Muse Has Had It”

by Jo Ziebritzki, Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University[i]

Meeting the muse

It’s early April 2017. The last couple of hours I was immersed in a typescript on ancient Buddhist temples in the library of the University of Vienna. As I now descend the grand staircase leading into the inner courtyard, my consciousness slowly emerges from the ancient past returning to the present. Outside, behind the arcades, the bright pavement reflects the spring sun. What a beautiful moment to stumble upon after a long morning in the library. Looking around, I suddenly notice an odd shape on the ground, like a shadow, but huge, and made of dark grey stone. I walk onto it, trying to decipher its contours. It is much longer in proportion to its width. I follow its length and realize that it resembles a human figure. When I reach the figure’s feet, I involuntarily smile: the shadow is wearing high heels. That was unexpected. I guess I had associated the human shape with the chalk figures at crime scenes – placeholders of evidence for someone hurt, escaped, or dead – sketched to decipher a cruelty. My eyes travel upwards along the leg of the figure, taking in the steady standing position, following the shape of the upper body, where one hand rests on the hip while the other one is raised with a clenched fist. The head of the figure is slightly tilted and framed by a bob haircut that seems to vibrate with vigorous movement. “Dear revolutionary shadow figure, would you tell me your story?”

Iris Andraschek, Der Muse Reicht’s (The Muse Has Had It), detail of shadow figure and one pedestal, 2009. Inner courtyard of the University of Vienna. Photographer: Hertha Hurnaus. © Courtesy of Hertha Hurnaus, https://www.basis-wien.at/.

Continue reading “Sensing History: The Memorial “The Muse Has Had It””

Für Monica

by Petra Reski, Venice

Von links nach rechts: Monica, Friedrich, Armin und Kyoko in Vaux-le-Vicomte, Maincy, 1984. © Mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Friedrich Huneke.

Wenn ich an Monica denke, fällt mir immer das „Kleine Deutsche Sprachdiplom“ ein, das sie damals in Paris mehr so en passant erworben hat, wobei sie das niemals so ausdrücken würde, ich sage es nur, weil ich so beeindruckt davon war, wie akzentfrei Monica dieses „Kleine Deutsche Sprachdiplom“ aussprach, die deutschen Worte klangen aus ihrem Mund ganz anders, liebenswürdiger, nobler, vielleicht auch makelloser. Sie sprach Französisch, Italienisch, Englisch, Hindi und ich vermutete, dass sie wahrscheinlich auch Sanskrit sprach, während ich noch im Clinch mit dem subjonctif de l’imparfait lag. Continue reading “Für Monica”

Monica Juneja on her 65th Birthday

by Axel Michaels, South Asia Institute & Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University

December 30 is a significant day because it is the birthday of some significant people:

39 AD Titus
1819 Theodor Fontane
1865 Rudyard Kipling
1879 Ramana Maharshi
1880 Alfred Einstein
1942 Vladimir Bukovsky

Above all, it is the birthday of two people who are particularly dear to me: Monica Juneja and Ilse Fromm-Michaels. Continue reading “Monica Juneja on her 65th Birthday”

What’s in a Bindi and a Hand? Or: The Way Monica Juneja Enabled Me to World Myself by Sharing Her Worlds

by Franziska Koch, Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University

Getting to know and working closely with a scholar and a personality such as Monica Juneja has been an absolute treat. It has been a process of becoming for me, an ongoing process of becoming aware of the cultural and ethical perceptions that govern my scholarly and general views. It has entailed puzzling over something she said and re-shaping my views in ways that find me a bit more flexible, and often, reevaluating the limits of my understanding. Sometimes, I slightly ache from the revelation of an unwelcome truth and struggle with an impulse to disagree but fail to formulate it quite as articulately as her. Normally, I am more sensitive and open to embrace new knowledge and always curious about what she is going to share next.

It is precisely the skillful and generous ways in which she shares: in her research, teaching, writing, and communication that make me think of her as a second mother. One who taught me the ropes of academic professionalism and has encouraged me (and many other emerging scholars) to believe in a scholarly world that is ultimately not separate from our social lives.

Working as an assistant professor for her newly founded Chair of Global Art History since July 2009, her 65th anniversary now provides me with an auspicious occasion to look back at the truly transformative work that she has achieved at the Heidelberg University’s Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context – Changing Asymmetries in Cultural Flows,” now known as the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS).[i] I thought, why not bring both these perspectives together; my personal and professional experience of working with the distinguished Geburtstagskind and share in turn how I grew beyond my initial self while participating in the transformation she enabled. Continue reading “What’s in a Bindi and a Hand? Or: The Way Monica Juneja Enabled Me to World Myself by Sharing Her Worlds”

An Unfinished Democratizing Intervention: History Lessons in the 21st century for School Children in India

by Kumkum Roy, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

I do not remember when I first met Monica. However, from the 1980s, when I first began teaching in a college at the University of Delhi, I do remember hearing about a bright, energetic teacher and scholar. Our more systematic interactions started when I joined the Department of History at the University. Monica was already teaching there, and with her I learned to negotiate the nitty gritty of academic life, participating in exciting and intense discussions around texts that she initiated with students which were rigorous, demanding, challenging, insightful, and nuanced.

Some years later, we met again as part of a large, unwieldy yet enthusiastic team of historians, teachers, and administrators, trying to put in place a new curriculum for Indian school children to be developed through a series of fresh textbooks. Monica’s contribution, a chapter on the French Revolution for students of Class IX, remains one of my favorites. Apart from her own contribution, she was constantly available over e-mail responding promptly, efficiently, and precisely to all kinds of queries; verifying, clarifying, qualifying, and refining half-baked chapters, with energy and professional commitment that was remarkable. It is this combination of deep and reliable scholarship, presented imaginatively and creatively, along with her warmth and affection that makes Monica special.

Book Cover of India and the Contemporary World I: Textbook in History for Class IX. © by NCERT 2006.

 

In what follows, I reflect on the moment in 2005 when the National Curriculum Framework for India was revised, and turn to the implications and possibilities that opened up for the Social Sciences. I will be discussing Monica’s chapter, locating it within a larger framework, and draw attention to subsequent developments which indicate that the intervention of 2005 will most probably be reversed in the near future. Continue reading “An Unfinished Democratizing Intervention: History Lessons in the 21st century for School Children in India”

Art History and Transculturation

The blog “Art History and Transculturation” celebrates the scholarly worlds and works of Monica Juneja, Professor of Global Art History at Heidelberg University, in the context of her 65th birthday. In contrast to the common “Festschrift”, the open access-based, electronic format allows embedding and integrating more numerous and hybrid contributions creatively combining images, films, sound, and text, an iterative publication process, and easy access to closely (hyper-)linked contents.

Congenially, it thus enables a multi-vocal academic portray of the pioneering transcultural methodology, inter- as well as transdisciplinary engagement, the mediation between academic discourse and cultural institutions, and collaborative ethos that characterize Monica Juneja’s outstanding achievements and her innovative role in the field of art history and neighboring disciplines.

Launched on the occasion of her actual birthday, 30th December 2020, the blog will dynamically grow throughout the auspicious year 2021 to include many contributions spanning the fields of art history, history, regional as well as transcultural studies and ranging from early modern to contemporary times. Ultimately, it will demonstrate how Monica Juneja’s critical thinking and mindful research, her caring and sharing personality has constituted a hub of inspiration that relates colleagues, comrades, students, and friends with different expertise and career stages all around the world.

Given its broad thematic scope, international appeal (with English as its main language), and interactive functions the blog “Art History and Transculturation” does not only enhance and focus scholarly exchange among its approximately 60 contributors at a particular moment in time, but also intends to attract the interest of a broader, scientifically minded public regarding the achievements of transcultural perspectives and their innovative methodological potential.

The editorial team – Jennifer Bürk, Hajra Haider, and Jo Ziebritzki headed by Franziska Koch and affiliated with Heidelberg University’s Chair of Global Art History at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies – warmly thanks all contributors, who make this a special present/-ce.

We wish Monica Juneja as well as all blog users a lively reading, viewing & listening experience!