Our Research

The aim of the TRA Present Pasts is to overcome the Eurocentric focus of current historiography through an interdisciplinary approach to various geographic areas and periods. It seeks to promote exchange between researchers interested in South and Central America, Africa, Asia and Europe and to challenge the subject divisions of European research disciplines.

The research of TRA 5 focuses on two core areas – heritage and communication – and their diverse connections.

© BASA Museum

Profile Area Heritage

Those involved in this research area seek to challenge the Eurocentric focus of current discourses and practices involved in heritage. Through investigation of the provenance and restitution of collections, the researchers seek to deconstruct hegemonic heritage discourses and challenge colonial power structures, and in so doing, develop a new understanding of heritage. The collections of the University of Bonn act as the confluence point for the range of negotiation processes involved with objects and the associated practices, forms of knowledge and origin contexts. As such, the collections constitute a special focal point within the project.

Profile Area Communication

Communication over long distances is a prerequisite for the processes of globalization. Led by the concepts communication and globalization, the researchers of the TRA Present Pasts investigate phenomena such as social inequality and social dependence, migration and mobility and other forms of power relationships. The focus rests on pre-modern forms of communication, to enable a better understanding of their current manifestations within the framework of globalization.

© TRA Present Pasts

Funded Projects

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Karoline Noack

Research assistant: Elizabeth Stauß

Short information: Further information will follow soon

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Matthias Becher

Research assistant: Christine Beyer

Short information: Further information will follow soon

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Birgit Ulrike Münch and Prof. Dr. Maria Gadebusch-Bondio

Research auxiliary: Carla Nadermann

Short information: Further information will follow soon

Project leader: Dr. M. Elisabeth Schwab

Cooperation partner: Prof. Dr. Anthony T. Grafton (Princeton University)

Research auxiliary: Jill Mylonas

Short information: Further information will follow soon

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Ove Sutter

Cooperation partner: City Museum Bonn

Research assistant: Elisabeth Stauß

Short information: Further information will follow soon

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Michael Schulz and Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Soeffner

Research auxiliary: N.N.

Short information: Further information will follow soon


Associated Professorships

Further information will follow

Further information will follow

  • Prof. Dr. Maarten Jansen (Profile Area Heritage)

Prof. Dr. Maarten Jansen from Leiden University is teaching and researching at the Department for Anthropology of the Americas at the University of Bonn for two years as part of the "Distinguished Emeritus Professorship" program.

Prof. Dr. Jansen is a world-renowned specialist in the cultural heritage of the indigenous societies of Mexico and Mesoamerica, but especially in the books and codices of pre-Hispanic cultures. As an internationally recognized researcher, he has led numerous major research projects, authored numerous books and over 200 articles, and received many significant awards, including being named a "Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw" by the King of the Netherlands.
Maarten Jansen developed new approaches to the study of the cultural heritage of Mesoamerica, focusing on the iconography and visual communication systems of the cultures of southern Mexico, historical sources (chronicles and archival documents) and contemporary oral traditions, and the representation, social situation, and rights of the indigenous peoples of Mexico in the present. Maarten Jansen is now considered a key initiator of a new research path in deciphering cultural codes.
With him as Professor Emeritus, the University of Bonn is gaining an internationally visible scholar. His interdisciplinary research approaches, his innovative combinations of methods and his openness to new questions enable a stimulating and fruitful exchange within the university far beyond the boundaries of his discipline.

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About Us

Organization, Goals, Team

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Events, Funding Offers

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