"It is hard to see, but it is here." Landscape traces of the contemporary past 3700-KON398-AL
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Covered by pavements, carved in stones, or concealed by a thick forest, some places bare traces of memory, trauma and hidden meanings of the contemporary past. Those places, sometimes set up intentionally and sometimes emerged out of natural taphonomic processes, can be used (and misused) in the cultural and political discourse on modern-day issues concerning memory of genocides, creation of public space, environmental protection, creation of natural environments in urban spaces, and many others.
In recent times, research within landscape studies shifted from a sheer ontological perspective towards an understanding of landscape’s temporality, narrativity, and affective role within society. Many spaces and places are recognized to have more than one “meaning” and using different approaches can “uncover” hidden meanings and stories behind/underneath them. Examples of such multilayered spatial narratives could be found in (post-)war heritage landscapes of Syria, Eastern European countryside as post-genocidal space, or meanings of socialist spaces in the current Polish socio-political debates.
Deriving from the “spatial turn” in humanities and social sciences, the class is intended to set a theoretical and methodological background, which will discuss approaches from i.a. archaeology, memory studies, landscape studies, and ecosemiotics. This framework will then be transferred onto case-studies of places in urban, suburban and natural environments, where the contemporary past has imprinted its traces.
Aside from the case-study analyses and the ongoing conversation on what do we understand as landscape and contemporary pasts, students will be familiarized with the established theoretical notions such as topophilia, deep maps, sites and non-sites of memory, spatial narratives, phenomenology of landscape. During one class, it is planned to work in the field to use this knowledge on a real example. Detailed information about the place and date will be provided at the beginning of the semester.
Graduate of this course should obtain not only knowledge, but also a certain cultural sensitivity to the issue of landscape palimpsests and their multi-leveled consequences in the socio-political and cultural sphere. In result, students will be able to formulate transdisciplinary research questions concerning social, political and cultural issues that in most cases are deprived of their spatial significance. This class should inspire an active perception of the landscape and awareness of its “hidden” meanings.
Dodatkowe informacje (np. o kalendarzu rejestracji, prowadzących zajęcia, lokalizacji i terminach zajęć) mogą być dostępne w serwisie USOSweb: