Winter School “Absence, Presence, Distance: Ways of Seeing the Past”

Absence, Presence, Distance: Ways of Seeing the Past
Degree Course sponsored by the Estonian Graduate School

of Culture Studies and Arts

Tallinn University, Estonia

January 20–24, 2014

4–6 ECTS credits

The fourth Winter School of the Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts focuses on our relations with the past, assuming that the way we think about the past shapes the way we view both the present and the future. Questions of ‘distance’, ‘absence’ and ‘presence’ have been debated in a number of disciplines, including visual studies, history, philosophy, cultural theory, and anthropology. In the complex matter of constructing a past that we can engage with problems of proximity and distance, presence and absence, arise at a multitude of levels – temporal, spatial, visual, cognitive, esthetical and other. ‘Representation’, the main conceptual tool in culture studies and arts, means strictly speaking a making present of, or the granting of presence (again) to something that is absent. However, this immediately raises the question of what it might mean to give presence to something that is absent; how could something possibly be present in its absence. Therefore, we invite the participants of the Winter School to revisit the traditional distinction between absence and presence; to discuss how far from an object or event do we need to be to see it clearly; to debate what does it actually mean for something or someone to be ‘past’.

The programme of the Winter School consists of: 1) interdisciplinary lectures and discussions conducted by Estonian and guest lecturers; 2) student seminars where graduate participants present and discuss their own research; 3) student workshops outside the customary classroom environment.

NB! More information on a web-page of the Winter School.

Programme Directors: Prof. Rein Raud (Tallinn University, Helsinki University), Dr. Marek Tamm (Tallinn University)