A Conference on “The Power of the Dispersed. Early Modern Global Travelers beyond Integration”

Cyril VI Tanas is informing Rome about the situation in Palestina after the schism in the Patriarchate of Antioch in 1724 which was creating a deep divide among (Arab speaking) Christians of Greek rite in Syria.  This was setting in move many emigrates, almsseekers, and scholars from East to West affecting many biographies of learned and unlearned.
December 14, 2020

Within the framework of his German Heisenberg-Grant and German Research Foundation Project (GZ Zw 164-7/1 to -9/1) at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, FU Berlin, Cornel Zwierlein is currently convening a conference in cooperation with the Yale/Humboldt network with the title “The Power of the Dispersed. Early Modern Global Travelers beyond Integration.” It will take place online on December 18-19.

The conference will be concerned with pre-circulated papers preparing a Brill volume in the series “Intersections.” Early Modern Individual migrants and travelers often did not form part of classic “diaspora” situations or communities: they frequently never really settled, instead wandering, perhaps remaining abroad for some time in one place, then traveling further to another: we ask for the degrees and frameworks of agency they had or could gain, in European, Mediterranean and global contexts.

The conference will consist of four sections: Dispersed by faith, dispersing Religion; Dispersed in Commercial, Political and Diplomatic Networks; Dispersed in the Early Modern Web of Science; and Dispersed by War, Captivity. The program is as follows:

December 18


Dr Stefano Saracino (Univ. Jena / LMU München) The Album Amicorum of the Athonite Monk Theoklitos Polyeidis and the Agency of perambulating Greek Almscollectors in the Holy Roman Empire 


 Dr Cesare Santus (FNRS, RSCS – Université catholique de Louvain) The great imposture. Eastern Christian rogues and counterfeiters in Rome, 17th-19th century 


Dr José-Luis Egío (MPIeRG Frankfurt/M / Akad. Wiss. Mainz) ‘Experience of the Land’ and Empowerment of Travelling Scholastics: The Emergence of Empirical Normative Authority in Early Modern Spanish America 


Dr Paula Manstetten (Univ. Bamberg / DFG Focus program): Self-Fashioning and the Agency of Arab Christians in Early Modern Europe: the Case of Salomon Negri and his Ego-Documents



Dr Simon Mills (Univ. of Newcastle): Johann Callenberg´s Orient

14.15 [15.15 Sofia] 

Dr Iordan Avramov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia): Nomads in the early modern republic of letters: the evidence of the correspondence of the early Royal Society of London


15.15h [his time 9.15 AM Bogota or still in Spain]      

Prof. Adolfo Polo y la Borda (University de los Andes, Colombia): A Captive’s Threat: The Marquis of Varinas and His Elusive Freedom

16.00 [in Spain]   

Prof. Ana Rodriguez-Rodriguez (Univ. of Iowa): Stories of Spanish Captivity in Istanbul: from Trauma to Empowerment

16.45 / 8.45 AM US West Coast 

Prof. David Nelson (Californian Lutheran University): From Erstwhile Captive to Cultural Erudite: The Career of Korean-born Samurai, Wakita Kyūbei

17.30 (Eur) / 9.30 AM US WestCoast

Prof. Baki Tezcan (UC Davis): The Golden Gate of the Languages is Open, or is it not? Ali Ufki/Wojciech Bobowski and the limits of cosmopolitanism in the seventeenth century (and today)  [announced]

December 19


Dr David Do Paço (SciencesPo Paris) In the blind spot of the State: Muslims in the 18th-century trans-imperial Adriatic society


Dr Edoardo Angione (Univ. Roma III): In Parte d’Infedeli: a Papal Informant in Istanbul (1607-1608)


Dr Maria Tsampika Lampitsi (Univ. Cyprus): Religious feeling and the construction of a merchant’s identity in the Greek trade networks of the late eighteenth century



PD Dr. Cornel Zwierlein (FU Berlin, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, Heisenberg Stelle): Dispersed Things. European Merchant Households in the Levant 


Dr Marloes Aydemir Cornelissen (Sabancı University, Istanbul): From Bern with love: The spy with a taste for the exquisite in early modern Istanbul”

For more information and to attend, please contact cornel.zwierlein@fu-berlin.de.