To own or to share? The crisis of the past at the onset of the 21st century
Lecture by Dr Despina Catapoti (University of the Aegean)
Organizer: Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens
The past, as a concept, delineates a ‘virtual territory’ whose degree of ‘accessibility’ over the centuries has been pertinent to the various intersections between capitalist socio-economic structures and the epistemological agenda(s) of Western history/archaeology. Although this relation has been highlighted repeatedly with regards to modernity, postmodernity is taken to signal the ‘democratization’ of the past. The main aim of this lecture will be to (a) problematize this mode of understanding (b) demonstrate that postmodernism builds a thoroughly symbiotic relationship with late capitalism and (c) that free access and circulation within the ‘territory’ of the past goes hand-in-hand with the inevitable loss of foundational ontological values, such as the a bility for critical navigation and historical positioning.