Cultural Forms in Global Circulation
In a world that is transnationally connected through migration, markets, and media, our intellectual maps, cultural policies, and academic departmentalization still rely heavily on categories and labels of identification—defined not in terms of interdependence, but territorial fixation, national origin, and “authentic” heritage. Recent critiques suggest that our attempts to think beyond national borders and fixed social domains have been shaped by naïve notions of global and local, of flow and circulation, and of how cultural forms are produced, owned, and valued. When sites of production, translation, and reception are dispersed world wide, each shaped by global/local assemblages of language, interest, and capital, how do we adequately document the complex ways that objects circulate between them?
Friday, April 11, 4-6 p.m.
"Compasso. Poetic Orientation in Modernity's 'Grand Sea of Being'"
For centuries, perhaps since the emergence of poetry itself, Western culture has engaged in the project of “writing the sea,” or hydrography, and within this project the compass has played a fundamental role. This lecture presents a brief introduction into the cultural history of the compass and shows how, ever since its first use, the compass has guided specific techniques of writing and notation and has been both poetically and epistemically productive. It argues this claim through a historical argument reaching from Dante’s reception of the Odyssey and Ripa’s Iconologia to Bacon, who considered the compass one of his age’s emblems, and to the technological thinking of Heisenberg and Heidegger.