Collection launched: 03 Jul 2017
Interconnectedness, flows and cultural nomadism have, over the past two decades, dominated the agenda of the humanities, in particular in the field of global history. The overwhelming popularity of transnationalism, anti-essentialism and postcolonialism in academic writing illustrates the impact of postmodern critiques that have led to the intellectual deconstruction of nations, cultures and civilisations. Does this really mean that these entities have become obsolete? Is culture nothing more than ever-changing interaction in a borderless world? This special collection examines current trends by introducing the concept of 'reference cultures' as a counter-balance to transnationalism. Reference cultures are cultural entities that are perceived, across both time and space, as robust and stable role models for other cultures or 'cultural constellations'. The articles clarify the nature of reference cultures by demonstrating how they are created, replicated, altered and challenged.