Séminaire Transferts culturels (Laboratoire Pays Germaniques) – Linguistique missionnaire

Evénements scientifiques / 15 octobre 2021 10:00 - 12:00

Linguistique missionnaire

Clélia Coret (Gand)
Linguistic Encounters. Christian-Muslim Interactions on the East African Coast (19th century)

This presentation examines the exchanges related to African languages that took place in Kenya in a German evangelist mission established from 1887 onwards. I examine more specifically the modalities which made possible the sharing of knowledge between German missionaries and Muslim scholars from the East African coast – knowledge which extended far beyond the learning of languages in Eastern Africa. Studied in their daily practices (Jacob, 2007-2010), language contacts are a starting point for understanding the conditions of knowledge production and how Europeans and Africans have appropriated them. I will focus particularly on the knowledge transmitted about Islam and Christianity; the skills of writing in the Latin and Arabic alphabets; and the co-production of linguistic system which, while based on European models (grammars, dictionaries), was adapted through contact with African languages and their native speakers.

James McElvenny (Siegen)
Colonial Science between Kleinstaaterei and the Word of God: The 1838 Lutheran Mission to South Australia

In this talk, I present a case study of the first Lutheran mission to South Australia and look at the entanglements it reveals between scientific data collection in the colonial field, Protestant missionary efforts, and the political jockeying and pursuit of prestige among the German states of the nineteenth century. The focus lies on Christian Gottlob Teichelmann (1807–1888) and Clamor Wilhelm Schürmann (1815–1893), sent in 1838 by the Dresden Missionary Society to proselytize the Aboriginal inhabitants of Adelaide. Their ordination in the small central German duchy of Altenburg led them into an association with the local Naturforschende Gesellschaft des Osterlandes and the nobleman Hans Conon von der Gabelentz (1807–1874), senior government official in the duchy and renowned gentleman scholar. Through this association, Teichelmann and Schürmann sent back to Altenburg natural scientific specimens and linguistic and ethnographic documentation from South Australia. I will examine how typical this arrangement was in the scientific landscape of the time and  the place of the data and specimens collected by the missionaries in the circulation of knowledge between the colonial field and European metropole.

Informations : https://research.uni-leipzig.de/transfertsculturels/programme-2/ 


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