[MGSA-L] Harvard, Cultural Politics Seminar, Dec. 6: "The Future of the Past"-- On History and Current Challenges

Roilos, Panagiotis roilos at fas.harvard.edu
Sat Dec 4 05:33:21 PST 2021


Dear all,

I would like to invite you to the following event.

Sincerely,
Panagiotis Roilos
-------
Panagiotis Roilos
George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature
Department of the Classics and Department of Comparative Literature, Harvard University
Faculty Associate, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
Founder and Director, Delphi Academy of European Studies
Greek Hauntologies and Disjointed Times: Temporality and Tropes of Indebtedness from British Aestheticism
to the Current European Crisis
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Harvard, Wheatherhead Center for International Affairs
Cultural Politics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Seminar (Zoom)
Date:
Monday, December 6, 2021, 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Location:
Online Only
"The Future of the Past: Searching for a Usable History across Time and Space"

Attend this event via Zoom<https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrcOmqqDsjHNXbNOk15QYZ5cYP33zRTNI1> (advance registration required)

Speaker:

Stephen Ortega, Associate, Weatherhead Research Cluster on Global Transformations (WIGH). Associate Professor, Department of History, Simmons College.

This event is online only. Please click the "Read More" link for full instructions on how to attend this seminar.

Remote Access Information:

To join by computer:

https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwrcOmqqDsjHNXbNOk15QYZ5cYP33zRTNI1

Please note: This event requires registration in advance in order to receive the meeting link and password.

Abstract:

Eric Auerbach in his ground-breaking work, Mimesis, argued that the history of major works in western literature constitutes different ways of seeing, different representations of what he termed to be "reality". While medieval Christian writings saw current events as signs that referred to Biblical events and predicted future developments, and Shakespeare looked for the psychological motives of elites, only in the late nineteenth century did writers like Emile Zola write about the poor, people who were invisible in earlier literature. Historical writings desire to come to terms with contemporary problems and potential fixes also reflects different "ways of seeing." For Sima Qian, history demonstrated that an early Chinese dynasty's political failure illustrated its inability to satisfy the spirits; for the 14th century medieval geographer and philosopher, Ibn Khaldun, history showed that the rise and decline of states was inevitable, and for Arnold Toynbee history was a way to justify empire. In the period after World War II, thinkers such as Simone de Beauvoir and Gaytari Spivak argued that history should reflect the insights of feminism and post-colonialism to provide visibility to those people who had been left out of grand narratives. Today, besides the scourge of racism, inequality and rising authoritarianism, the world faces a climate crisis that threatens the extinction of the species, and history will be forced to re-think its use to the present and to the future. Given the gains in paleoanthropology, psychology, neuroscience and trauma studies, this paper will present suggestions as to how history can embrace new research and can broaden its scope to address current challenges.


Panagiotis Roilos
George Seferis Professor of Modern Greek Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature
Department of the Classics and Department of Comparative Literature, Harvard University
Faculty Associate, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
Founder and Director, Delphi Academy of European Studies
Greek Hauntologies and Disjointed Times: Temporality and Tropes of Indebtedness from British Aestheticism
to the Current European Crisis
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