PhD Courses in Denmark

Historiography in Art, Literature and Culture: Methods and Problems

Graduate School, Arts at Aarhus University

General description

How do we historicize? How do we delimit a period, how do we select representative works or events? What kind of challenges do we face when we historicize? Is history a narration or a set of fragmented events? How do periods overlap and how do we work with anachronisms or the untimely? How do we make historicization relevant to contemporary audiences? Etc.

This course will focus both on theoretical and practical problems related to historicization and contextualization. PhD-students from all fields within Art, literature and culture, who have projects on old or new art, literature and culture, are invited.

The course consists of three workshops, described below.

For each workshop, the participants will hand in a description of a specific problem in their own research that relates to the topic of the workshop (approx. 0,5-1 page for each workshop). Participants will be asked to read all theoretical texts and texts handed in by fellow PhDstudents.

February 19, 10:15-16:30

Intro and Workshop 1: Contextualization

This workshop focuses on how we contextualize. Very often an analysis or a value judgment of an artistic work involves or is based upon contextualization. We analyse the work in its context: that is: the context sets the frame of analysis and the work reinterprets that context. But what is a context? How big or small is it? Is it a political, aesthetic, philosophical etc. context? How is it delimited geographically (city, nation, region, world) and temporally (a year, a decade, a period etc) And how do we make contextualization relevant and interesting? How much do we have to know about the context to contextualize? What is a valid contextual judgment?

Readings: TBA

Eg. - Bruce Robbins: “Cosmopolitanism and the Historical/Contextual Paradigm”

February 15: Deadline for sending description of problem in own phd.project related to topic of workshop 1

February 23, 10:15-16:30

Workshop 2: Temporality and periodization, now and then, narration and anachronism

Historiography does not only provide us with a list of dates of important events. It links the events into a meaningful chain of a ‘before’, a ‘now’, and an ‘after” or a future. It creates narrative structures and causality out of the events that it integrates. But reality is not a narration. Often it can be understood more as a disconnected set of elements. A period can be understood as the simultenaeity of the non-simultaneous,

Readings: TBA

e.g. Didi-Hubermann: “Before the Image. Before Time. The Sovereignty of Anachronism”

21 February 2024: Deadline for sending description of problem in own phd.project related to topic of workshop 2

February 28, 10:15-16:30

Workshop 3:  Canonization and relevance

How are certain works canonized and remembered? What is the relation between the masterpieces and the great unread? How do we historicize on the basis of selected works?

How do we treat marginalized writers and artists? What is the relevance today of (studies of) historical works?

Readings: TBA

E.g. Marco Fomisano and Christina Shuttleworth Kraus, “Marginality, Canonicity, Passion

26 February 2024: Deadline for sending description of problem in own phd.project related to topic of workshop 3

Aim:

The aim is to facilitate a discussion about how we historicize, that is: contextualize, periodize, canonize literature, art, music, theater and other cultural products. The PhD student will gain critical awareness about different historical methods and the aim of historicization.

Literature:

Full list of works to be studied will be available mid-January 2024.

But texts could include:

Bruce Robbins: “Cosmopolitanism and the Historical/Contextual Paradigm”

Didi-Hubermann: “Before the Image. Before Time. The Sovereignty of Anachronism”

Marco Fomisano and Christina Shuttleworth Kraus, “Marginality, Canonicity, Passion

Target group:

Ph.d.students at all levels who work with the history of art, literature and cultural studies from antiquity until today.

Language:

English

Form:

Lectures, readings + workshops.

Ph.D. students will be required to hand in small assignments on special topics and to read the assignments of the other ph.d.students.

Venue:

Campus Aarhus, building 1586-114, Langelandsgade 139, Aarhus University, Aarhus C.

Application deadline:

Please sign in via the link no later than 18 December 2023