Tertium datur: The Third in History, 1450-1850

International Conference, June 21–23, 2012


History Department, University of Zurich, in cooperation with the URPP Asia and Europe


History makes use of many dualistic models. Premodern/modem, European/non-European or dominate/negotiate are just a few of the pairs of terms by means of which historical phenomena are described or temporal divisions conceptually established. Such dualisms fall short, however. Most historical phenomena involve a given third, with figures such as the prophet, the witness, the translator or the trader mediating between communicators. Media such as clothing or jewellery create relationships between wearers and observers. The given third is the topic of this conference. It will explore the way in which systematic reflection on the third can open and sharpen the perspective on paradoxicalor hybrid historical relations.

Conference Venue

University of Zurich, Karl Schmid-Strasse 4, 8006 Zürich
Room: KO2 F 152