Academic journal article Nomadic Peoples

Difference and Integration: Research Centre on Nomadic Peoples in Germany

Academic journal article Nomadic Peoples

Difference and Integration: Research Centre on Nomadic Peoples in Germany

Article excerpt

The Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 586) 'Difference and Integration' (www.nomadsed.de), at the Universities of Leipzig and Halle-Wittenberg examines--as a multidisciplinary research program--past and present interrelations between nomadic and sedentary peoples living in the arid zone stretching from Morocco to China. Founded in 2001 and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the SFB focuses on the following four thematic strands:

1) Hegemony--The central research interest is the changing centre and peripheral relationships between nomadic and settled peoples in the longue duree. The social composition of space and territory are examined, including early statehoods, large empires, modern nation-states as well as the building of transnational blocks. Crucial questions are: to what extent do relations of economic inequality, asymmetrical power structures and cultural variations mould the interaction of nomadic and settled communities, and how do these patterns translate into new territorially fragmented peripheries?

2) Mobility--Mobility is a defining marker of late modernity and examined by the SFB as a phenomenon that extends from nomadic societies into settled contexts. Thus, we aim to understand how different forms of mobility are coupled with pastoral production and reproduction systems, and we intend to link our findings to the new and vast body of mobility research. The movements of peoples, information and goods are addressed.

3) Representation--The consequences of the concrete and fictitious interaction between nomads and settled peoples, in addition to the emerging negotiation of meaning are elucidated. We examine the interplay of (everyday) practises and (textual) knowledge in which the processes of differentiation, appropriation and integration are embedded. …

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