Historisk forskerseminar med Carolyn Biltoft (Geneva)

Medusa's Eternal Recurrence. History, Myth and the “World Horizon”.

Bildet kan inneholde: bilderamme, hår, blond, sittende, møbler.

Dette arrangeres sammen med Den nasjonale forskerskolen i historie.

Gjesteforeleser er Carolyn Biltoft fra Graduate Institute Geneva som kommer til å snakke via Skypelink.

Niels Treschows hus i 12 etasje fra 14:15-16.

«Medusa's eternal recurrence: history, myth and the world horizon» Every historical narrative is by its nature an act of re-telling, an interpretive reiteration of that which had already been uttered or recorded. Moving away from the mere idea of history as myth in the sense so often associated with the concept of "invented traditions," this paper attempts to think more broadly about the parallels between the meaning-making role of mythology and the narrative work of especially world or global history. First, the paper unfolds as a critical survey of the appearance of the figure of Medusa in a range of nineteenth and twentieth century texts and images-from the works of Sigmund Freud, to the Sicilian flag, to the Versace logo. In exploring the historical conditions surrounding the "Medusa's" recurrence in diverse and indeed global contexts, the paper suggests that we might find a fertile parallel for rethinking how historians first excavate and then re-narrate the past. What do we learn from the many ways that the figure of Medusa has returned as a sign of eroticism, excite, fear or disdain? This is a particularly useful exercise precisely if we are to fully interrogate how and to what extent contemporary political narrative arcs, tropes, and metaphors influence historians' relationship to the " sources" and the stories that they set out to retell. Finally, the paper concludes by suggesting that the recurrence and reinterpretation of specifically mythological metaphors provides a non-linear and much longer-term modality for reconsidering world historians desire to make sense of the "whole" of human history.

Suggested readings:

Jerry H. Bentley, "Myths, Wagers, and Some Moral Implications of World History," the Journal of World History, Volume 16, Number 1, 2005, pp.51-82: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/184274 Peter Heeh, "Myth, History, and Theory" History and Theory: Vol. 33, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 1-19: https://www.mercerislandschools.org/cms/lib3/WA01001855/Centricity/Domain/640/Myth%20Criticism%202.pdf William H. McNeill, "Mythistory, or Truth, Myth, History, and Historians," The American Historical Review,Vol. 91, No. 1 (Feb., 1986), pp. 1-10: https://academic.oup.com/ahr/article/91/1/1/116645 Mircea Eliade, Myth and Reality (New York, Harper and Row, 1962)

Publisert 12. feb. 2020 13:24 - Sist endret 2. mars 2020 11:43