Introductory reflections on Travelling Things
During the last decades the privileging of human beings as autonomous historical actor and main shaper of his environment has been under attack. Things have received more attention as co-producers of agency. The empirical focus on things also sharpens the view for the constitution of often unexpected connections between local, national and global spaces of action. Objects are understood as things with “global trajectories,” which open space for interactions beyond cultural and geographical boundaries. They accumulate meaning on their travels, are triggers for human communication across borders and at the same time are entangled in the formation of global asymmetries. At the heart of the ve case studies stand the constitutive role of material culture for the construction of social relations, of power processes, and the world in its transnational and transcultural dimension.