"An Imperial Cloud"

An imperial cloud in the age of computer technology and nearly unlimited data transfer all around us certainly constitutes an attractive idea. The international conference “An ‘Imperial Cloud’. Did a Collective Imperial Reservoir of Knowledge Exist in the 19th and 20th Century?” at the Internationales Begegnungszentrum (IBZ) in Rostock – supported by the University of Rostock and generously sponsored by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation – tried to pick up and evaluate the idea. The procedure consisted of pre-circulated papers by the participants that were commentated on and afterwards extensively discussed. Thus the conference allowed far more space for a critical reflection on the idea of an ‘imperial cloud’ than a typical format.

The welcome address by JONAS KREIENBAUM (Rostock) and CHRISTOPH KAMISSEK (Rostock) outlined the key questions of the conference that were organized into three sections: 1) Did an imperial cloud exist and how was it created? 2) How was it used and accessed by various agents? 3) Did non-European empires have access to an imperial cloud? Above all loomed the question if we need an imperial cloud – as a metaphor or a concept – to explain and analyze the complex processes of knowledge production and circulation in a colonial context?

Von Jonas Kreienbaum, Universität Rostock, und Christoph Kamissek, Auswärtiges Amt
  Graduate School “Cultural Encounters and the Discourses of Scholarship”
Ort Rostock
Veranstalter University of Rostock
Datum 18.09.2014 - 20.09.2014