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19 Mar - "The Future of Memory: the humanities in exile", Lecture by Paul Carter, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

The visit of Paul Carter is organised in collaboration with Silvia Albertazzi from the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Mar 19, 2019 from 05:30 PM to 07:30 PM

Where Sala Rossa, Palazzo Marchesini, via Marsala 26, Bologna (first floor)

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In 2019 a five-year project called ‘The Future of Memory’ starts. The Humanities increasingly exist in exile from the mainland of scholarly and community support. ‘The Future of Memory’ argues that the Humanities need to apply their skills in new environments: interpretation, the art and science of meaning, must be materialized in concrete ‘forming situations.’ To give shape to this argument, ‘The Future of Memory’ is a research collaboration with the Parco archeologico di Paestum (Campania). The origin of this collaboration was a study of the tomb painting known as il tuffatore (The Diver), which focused on the problem of its interpretation: as a figure in transition, The Diver represents the poetic labour of what Paul Ricoeur calls ‘living metaphor’.


The first product of this collaboration, announced last October at Paestum, is Rovine di un tempo che fu, a program of public events commencing in September 2019 that explores the role of archaeological time consciousness in understanding anthropogenic climate change. The second, ‘Diving In: from refugee to refuge’ is the focus of my Bologna residency, and is proposed for 2020. It draws a connection between the ‘transitional zones’ provided for refugees in Greek colonial cities and a culture of care born of shared experiences of exile, shipwreck and precarity. It suggests that these urban elements acquire their significance from the application of a hermeneia of concomitant production, where reading the past is directly tied to a new creative attegiamento towards the design and navigation of the future


The exilic condition also applies to traditional definitions of memory: one corollary of this is that new hermeneutical techniques and interests are migrant, ontologically located in the experience of poetic migration. A re-orientation of the humanities to peoples and places understood physically and psychically as in transition has profound institutional, pedagogical and societal implications. Practically and culturally, it implies a new, archipelagic organization of knowledge and knowledge communities.