After the Global: Constructions of historiography in visual and material spaces

Organized by Sria Chatterjee and Eva-Maria Troelenberg

Max-Planck-Research Group "Objects in the Contact Zone - The cross-cultural Lives of Things"

The academy is in a crisis, of sorts. Globalization, with its cultural implications and awareness warrants a global history. But can there be a global history that steers completely clear of universalizing tendencies? The common concern that brings academics and writers together in this symposium is a very basic one - what histories? Starting on the premise that the past is no longer seen or read as one single story, this symposium seeks to explore the ramifications and possibilities of a horizontal historical landscape of multiple histories.

Viewing historiography as more than the study of the writing of history and of written histories, the symposium addresses alternative histories of representation, display, objects, encounters, and remains that do not necessarily occur only in text and fall within, without and in between the established canons of the humanities. Acknowledging that historiographies are by nature constructed, Slicing through rather than charting the canon of Western historiography and art historiography, the symposium seeks an approach in which historiography does not register as method but a means of relooking at stories that grow out of objects, institutions, individuals, groups, presentations and re-presentations of cultural identity.

The aim of the symposium, through a series of talks and discussions across disciplines, is to allow the participants to think about contingencies - space, time, people and things in visual and material terms, reviewing historical narratives to question established ontological and epistemological categories, and to explore contemporary methods of rethinking the past.

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut
Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze


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