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Friederike Philippe



Global History

Research Assistant (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin)

Global Intellectual History

Koserstraße 20
14195 Berlin

Friederike holds a BA degree in History and Japanese Studies from Freie Universität Berlin (2014) and a MA degree in Global History from Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2018). During her studies she worked as a student assistant for the Global History department at Freie Universität Berlin. In 2018 she published on memory work and collective memory about displacement and loss of Heimat in post-war Germany in the journal Germanoslavica. Her current research focuses on Early Modern global knowledge production and circulation networks with an emphasis on European-Japanese intercultural encounters.

Perceptions of Self and Other in Motion. Japanese-European Ethnographic Knowledge Discourse between Denomination and Conflict (1549-1647)

Friederike’s project analyses perceptions of Other and Self within the Japanese-European ethnographic knowledge discourse during Japan’s Nanban century (1549-1647). The European-Japanese encounter compelled both European and Japanese intellectuals to integrate the new Other as well as reposition the Self within their world views. This identity negotiation process took place through pen and paper: By collecting, compiling, transferring, sharing, and receiving descriptions of Other, ethnographic information became (canonized) ethnographic knowledge. The knowledge production process was heavily influenced by personal motivations, denominational affiliations, and regional and global conflicts and thus resulted in fluctuating perceptions of difference and similarity. Therefore, Friederike seeks to showcase the interplay of oscillating perceptions of difference / similarity and knowledge production / development. By intertwining a content-based with a context-based analysis, she furthermore intends to carve out how European-Japanese knowledge production and processes of intra-regional entanglement are mutually dependent and thus reflect the discourse’s globality: Through mutual ethnographic knowledge production, Japan and Europe became indissolubly entangled so that, ultimately, unambiguous attributions of difference or similarity were deconstructed. Interpretations of Self and Other could become hybrid constructs placed in between Europe and Japan.

Friederike’s project places the European-Japanese identity negotiation discourse at the intersection of Historical Anthropology, History of Ideas, and Global Intellectual History. Only by specifically looking at not just the European, but also the Japanese perspective, the interplay and reciprocal influence of actors and contexts across denominational, cultural, and regional lines comes to light. Only by correlating mutual representations of Other it is possible to trace processes of European-Japanese entanglement and think an early modern history of ethnographic ideas globally. Hence, this project seeks to contribute to the scholarship on early modern ethnographic discourses as multi-layered, entangled, and hybrid fields of global intellectual knowledge history.