In the Distance
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in Progress 2010: February 27, 2010
Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture @ MIT
The general perception is
that intellectual and creative production outside of major cultural centers
necessarily defines itself in relationship to these centers. Moreover, the
relative paucity of material resources and opportunities available in these
remote areas seems to aggravate cultural dependence. But is this the only
possible perspective on the effects of this geographical and psychological
In the Roots of Romanticism, Isaiah Berlin suggested that German culture,
being peripheral to the European intellectual life of the eighteenth century,
had to define itself in opposition to the dominance of French culture. It was
this negative self-identification that resulted in the birth of the Romantic
movement. The 2010 Research in Progress Conference,
likewise, proposes that this condition of dependence, generated by geographical
distance, can be stimulating, productive, and sometimes even liberating.
How and by whom are
such notions as "periphery" and "province" constructed? How does the acceptance
or denial of one's own "provincialism" influence identity and culture in
general? What are the factors that produce cultural distance and why does it
still exist in our contemporary high-speed and digital world? These are a few of the many possible
questions our conference hopes to address.
We encourage presentations that discuss various episodes in the history
of art, architecture and culture in general, which may include such topics as
European colonial empires, diasporas of war, and the effects of exile,
mistranslation, migration and separation in aesthetic practices.
November 15: Abstract
submission (maximum 300 words). Please
send abstract and a short cv in doc or pdf format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 1: Participants
January 31: Paper
submissions due (2500 words, 20 minute presentations)
February 27: Conference.