Historical consciousness and mortuary culture
Research meeting Centre for Historical Culture/History @ Erasmus.
On the 20th of February. there will be a paper presentation by Hans Ruin, Professor of Philosophy at the Södertörn University (Stockholm).
Based on his book Being with the Dead. Burial, Ancestral Politics and the Roots of Historical Consciousness (Stanford UP, 2019), Hans Ruin's paper describes how human historicity and historical consciousness can be understood as extended forms of mortuary culture. As humans engage with, explore, and respond to the past they enter an existential-ontological space of being-with those who are no longer there. Traditionally the human sciences defined themselves in explicit opposition to pre-scientific superstitious dealings with the dead, to be replaced by non-committed theoretical approaches to the past. But the boundary is not always as clear-cut. Historians also cultivate an ethos and ability of learning from and of the dead. Often historical work also understands itself as a qualified form of doing justice to the dead, by giving people their proper place in history. In the contemporary landscape of the human historical sciences, memorial practices and historical research often overlap, and the idea of an ethical duty toward the dead is actualised in new ways. Taking its lead from hermeneutic, phenomenological and deconstructive thinking, the paper presents a conceptual framework for describing and analysing this social-ontological predicament.
Response: Berber Bevernage (History theorist at Ghent University)
Moderator: Maria Grever (ESHCC/EUR)
To register, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.