Location: University of Amsterdam
Dates:22 February + 8 and 22 March + 5 and 19 April 2023, 10:00-13:00
Rooms: Oudemanhuispoort A0.09 (8 February, 8 and 22 March, 5 April); University Library, Belle van Zuylenzaal (22 February); Oudemanhuispoort C 2.23 19 April)
Organizers: Dr Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen), Dr Sanjukta Sunderason (University of Amsterdam) and Dr Hanneke Stuit (University of Amsterdam)
Credits: 5 ECTS
Registration will open on 28 November 2022 (deadline for registration: 4 January 2023). NB: Should you encounter problems with the registration form, please try emptying your cache and/or signing up via a different browser. If the problem persists, you can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, affiliation, status (ReMA, PhD, other) and research school membership.
This course addresses the ways in which literature and art, in their generic capacity for multi-perspective representation, reimagine place and agency within the eternal present inaugurated by the end of the Cold War at the turn of the 1990s. This global discourse of contemporaneity was meant to deconstruct the linear progressive time of modernity that dominated the 20th century. However, arrested within such perceptions of new spatio-temporal fluidities of “the contemporary” were the heterogeneous temporalities of decolonization and democratization in societies that had been negotiating the impacts and afterlives of empire and ideological conflicts of the Cold War across the long 20th century.
Today, we observe a certain “return of history” in calls for decolonization that have come to define militant imperialisms and nationalisms across the globe, as well as activist resistance to nation-statist hegemonies. The war in Ukraine, and continuing conflicts over postcolonial sovereignty across former colonial sites like Hong Kong, Kashmir, or Palestine reveal such circularities of eternal presents and resurfacing futures. These temporalities, while appealing to new calls for liberation, are nonetheless often dominated by nation-state driven essentialist past-orientedness and the wish to preserve the existing hegemony.
Our course will foreground the proposition that postcolonial and postsocialist societies of the past three decades can be approached as repositories of braided temporalities of struggle, affirmation, memorialization, and utopian horizons. We can encounter here new and alternate versions of contemporaneity that materialize the spectre of emancipatory history via aesthetic form and develop ways of engaging with the past that “resurface” futurity.
Full description available here: Eternal Presents_Course description