• Rhetoric and History

    230 | CCN: 25360

    Time, Space, Death and Memory

    Instructor: Michael Wintroub

    Location: Remote-Synchronous

    Date / Time: Th  2:00pm-5pm 

    4 Units

     

     

     

    The monument’s power to reanimate and commemorate the dead—to transcend and memorialize absence—is also an attempt to establish borders between loss and continuity, chaos and control, savages and subjects. Put another way, monuments inhabit the (contested) frontiers between identity and exclusion, purity and corruption, possession and dispossession, self and other. What, then, are these things, these statues, tombs, columns and obelisks that memorialize? Are they histories, relics, standards, or idols?  How are they empowered to delineate possessions, stand-for histories, represent subjects, or establish “objective” metrologies? By what power is presence embodied in inert (timeless?) matter? How are monuments worshipped? When are they destroyed? And when are they just forgotten? Indeed, how does presence end? These are some of the questions we will pursue as we follow the dead into their monuments, and their monuments into the diverse political, social and cultural territories they haunt. We will read ancient, medieval, and modern histories of art, culture and science; anthropologies and ethnographies; folklore, sociology, political theory and Science and Technology Studies, and whatever else by way of discipline, idea, geographical context, or periodization, that we can use to help us as we hunt for the ghosts that animate the dreams, conceits and hubris of the monumental.  A preliminary list might include Peter Brown, Michael Taussig, Ernst Kantorowicz, Robert Hertz, Ralph Giesey, Marcel Mauss, James Young, Michel de Certeau, Michel Serres, Giorgio Agamben, Hans Belting, Caroline Bynum, Brigitte Bedos-Rezak, Bruno Latour and Susan Leigh Star…