1988: the international network of Transcultura is created by Umberto Eco and Alain le Pichon, on the occasion of the 9th centenary of the University of Bologna. It proceeds from a first action, “Ethnology of France by Third World researchers” (1982-86), applied to Euro-African relations, implemented in 1982 with the support of President Senghor and the support of President Chirac.

It then opened up to China; bringing together researchers from the University of Canton for an anthropological study of Italian society (“Sguardi Venuti da lontano” -1992). The international conference “Frontiers in knowledge” (Canton 1991) was organized with the support of the European Union.

Then the traveling Euro-Chinese seminar, “Misunderstandings in the search for the Universal”, from Canton to Beijing via the Silk Road, questioned the reciprocal representations of European and Chinese cultures. It resulted in the publication of The Unicorn and the Dragon (Peking University Press, 1996).

In April 2000, the international colloquium in Timbuktu “Africa, China, Europe: reciprocal views”, chaired by Umberto Eco, brought together African, Chinese and European researchers.

Then, the seminar on “Methodologies of Reciprocal Knowledge”, organized by U. Eco at the Institute of Higher Studies of the University of Bologna (November 2000) led to the implementation of the Assises de la Connaissance Reciprocal (European Parliament Brussels November 15, 2001)