Histcon.se Time, Memory and Representation Tid, Minne, Representation

A Multidisciplinary Program on Transformations in Historical Consciousness

Ett mångdisciplinärt forskningsprogram om historiemedvetandets förvandlingar

Workshop: Is History History? A South-North Dialogue on Global Pasts, African Futures and the Philosophy of History

Published on 2 October, 2014

13-14 October 2014 at WiSER, Johannesburg.


A dialogue between WISER and the Time, Memory and Representation Research Group
In recent years, the proliferation of new media technologies, accelerated migration and changing geopolitical power relations have reshaped the meaning of the past. Grand narratives are placed under erasure, the containment of history within settled national boundaries seems less credible than ever, and the time-space compression of postmodernity arguably divests the past of its authority by reducing everything to an ongoing present. At the same time, the future is being conceived in radically divergent ways across the world. If, under the double sign of economic downturn and the Anthropocene, Europe and North America turn away from the future, or imagine it in apocalyptic registers, the ”young” or ”new” economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America are commonly represented as reviving the jaded optimism of capitalism.
Drawing on the rich contemporary debates on temporality and futurity, as well as scholarly paradigms such as cultural memory studies, media studies and hermeneutics, this workshop will enable a dialogue between scholars based at WISER and at universities in Sweden around current transformations of historical consciousness. What is the current role of the historical disciplines? What are the new and emergent forms of memorialisation? Can history have a meaning without a faith in progress? What are the implications of thinking time in the plural? These and related questions will be discussed in seminar exchanges.

A dialogue between WISER and the Time, Memory and Representation Research Group

In recent years, the proliferation of new media technologies, accelerated migration and changing geopolitical power relations have reshaped the meaning of the past. Grand narratives are placed under erasure, the containment of history within settled national boundaries seems less credible than ever, and the time-space compression of postmodernity arguably divests the past of its authority by reducing everything to an ongoing present.

At the same time, the future is being conceived in radically divergent ways across the world. If, under the double sign of economic downturn and the Anthropocene, Europe and North America turn away from the future, or imagine it in apocalyptic registers, the ”young” or ”new” economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America are commonly represented as reviving the jaded optimism of capitalism.

Drawing on the rich contemporary debates on temporality and futurity, as well as scholarly paradigms such as cultural memory studies, media studies and hermeneutics, this workshop will enable a dialogue between scholars based at WISER and at universities in Sweden around current transformations of historical consciousness.

What is the current role of the historical disciplines? What are the new and emergent forms of memorialisation? Can history have a meaning without a faith in progress? What are the implications of thinking time in the plural? These and related questions will be discussed in seminar exchanges.

Preliminary program available here (.pdf).

Contact: markus.huss@sh.se

Produced by MarsApril