Mobility, Exchange, and Appropriation

Transcultural approaches in art history and visual culture refute the container notion of culture, i.e. the idea that cultures are bounded units with clearly defined styles, identities, and territorial borders. Research along transcultural lines is interested in zones of contact, in negotiations of meaning, in mutual borrowings, processes of change, and the emergence of the new. Of particular interest is the study of networks, networks of trade, of beliefs, of science, of power, etc. How do objects and images move within and across these networks? How do they change networks? Focusing on movement, exchange, and appropriation faculty members investigate these questions in a variety of historical and spatial contexts from medieval Ireland to the Mediterranean and the Caucasus.