The process of questioning the authority of academic history—in the form in which it emerged at the turn of the 19th century—began in the 1970s, when Hayden White pointed out the rhetorical dimension of historical discourse. His British colleague Alun Munslow went a step further and argued that the ontological statuses of the past and history are so different that historical discourse cannot by any means be treated as representation of the past. As we have no access to that which happened, both historians and artists can only present the past in accordance with their views and opinions, the available rhetorical conventions, and means of expression.
The article revisits two examples of experimental history which Munslow mentioned in his The Future of History (2010): Robert A. Rosenstone’s Mirror in the Shrine (1988) and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht’s In 1926 (1997). It allows reassessing their literary strategies in the context of a new wave of works written by historians and novelists who go beyond the fictional/factual dichotomy. The article focuses on Polish counterfactual writers of the last two decades, such as Wojciech Orliński, Jacek Dukaj, and Aleksander Głowacki. Their novels corroborate the main argument of the article about a turn which has been taking place in recent experimental historying: the loss of previous interest in formal innovations influenced by modernist avant-garde fiction. Instead, it concentrates on demonstrating the contingency of history to strategically extend the unknowability of the future or the past(s) and, as a result, change historying into speculative thinking.
The first premise is that creativity requires a focal perceiver perspective to be determined or assigned. As criteria for perception or judgment, what we currently consider “dimensions” of creativity instead may be “precursors.” Ultimately, creativity shifts meaning for the whole culture. The second premise is that creativity requires a temporal perspective: its assessment is time-dependent on the first instance the perceiver notices. If the perceiver accepts the creative “ it,” then it is shared for others to judge it, creating a diffusion and adaptation process. The strongest form of creativity, then, is when it stands the test of time, goes beyond its own zeitgeist, and is institutionalized for future generations.
What is the life of an idea? How do some ideas result in creative outcomes? People interested in creativity often want to know the answers to these questions. Although there are numerous methods and measures for assessing creative persons and products, there is little by way of methods for documenting and analysing the trajectories of ideas. The purpose of this paper is to address this need by introducing a new approach for tracing and analysing ideational pathways. Ideational pathways refer to the trajectory of ideas in temporal and spatial dimensions. That is, how ideas travel through time and space and whether those ideas end up resulting in creative outcomes. We open the paper by providing a theoretical and conceptual background for ideational pathways. We then introduce an emerging approach for tracing these pathways and apply it to two examples. We close by discussing implications and directions for future research.
This article deals with the Matrix theory of subjectivity, gaze, and desire by feminist scholar Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger. Matrixial framework is explored in comparison to Lacanian psychoanalysis. The essay denotes the differences between split Lacanian model of the subject and Matrixial subjectivity based on plurality and continuity. I argue that Lacanian model which grounds the subject in fundamental lack and loss of corporal reality is insufficient for explaining specifically feminine experience in terms of temporality and collective memory, whereas the Matrix theory provides a conceptual apparatus for positive female identification and alliances between the past and the present. Ettinger’s Matrixial model is applied in the analysis of the 2012 video The Meeting by contemporary Lithuanian artist Kristina Inčiūraitė. I claim that the mode of desire in The Meeting is based on Matrixial gaze, which allows to formulate memory as co-created by two partners who share archaic knowledge of the Real, grounded in common relation to female sexual difference and intrauterine condition. Therefore, the article interprets the imagery of the town of Svetlogorsk in the video as coemerged mental images that affect each of the partners. I conclude that the Matrix theory overcomes the phallocentrism of classical psychoanalysis, allowing to reformulate the subject in terms of connectivity, compassion, and abilities to process Other’s trauma through positive cultural change.
The aim of this study was to explore the education expert and non-expert consensually rated nature of creativity operationalized as observable behaviour. When operationalized as observable behaviour akin to concrete educational objectives accessible to being taught, is creativity a construct valid both internationally and over time, and what are its distinguishing features? A representative sample of concretely stated behaviours descriptive of creativity displayed by children and adolescents was evaluated with high convergent validity by educational psychologists, specialists in gifted education, university students of teacher studies, and mathematics teachers (N = 208) on the level of creativity, and ten additional behaviour features. The results of the canonical correlation analysis suggest internationally and temporally stable and an educationally viable bridge between general creativity construct operationalization and measurement on the one hand, and the domain-specificity of creative behaviours and their features on the other. By viewing the general creativity construct as a meta-theoretical heuristic, and focusing on one group of domain-specific consensually rated creative behaviours and their progressive nature as educational objectives, the findings of this study are discussed in the context of general and gifted education.
In recent science-fiction literature, we can witness a proliferation of new counterfactual narratives which take the 17th century as their point of departure. Unlike steampunk narratives, however, their aim is not to criticise the socio-political effects caused by contemporary technological development. Such authors as Neal Stephenson or Ian Tregillis, among others, are interested in revisiting the model of development in Western societies, routing around the logic of progress. Moreover, they demonstrate that modernity is but an effect of manifold contingent and indeterminate encounters of humans and nonhumans and their distinct temporalities. Even the slightest modification of their ways of being could have changed Western societies and cultures. Thus, they necessitate a rather non-anthropocentric model of counterfactuality which is not tantamount to the traditional alternative histories which depart from official narratives of the past.
By drawing on contemporary multispecies ethnography, I put forward a new understanding of counter-factuality which aims to reveal multiple entangled human and nonhuman stories already embedded in the seemingly unified history of the West. In this context, the concept of “polyphonic assemblage” (Lowenhaupt-Tsing) is employed to conceptualize the contingent and open-ended encounters of human and nonhuman historical actors which cut across different discourses and practices. I analyse Stephenson’s The Baroque Cycle to show the entangled stories of humans and nonhumans in 17th century sciences, hardly present in traditional historiographies. In particular, Stephenson’s depiction of quicksilver and coffeehouse as nonhuman historical actors is scrutinized to show their vital role in the production of knowledge at the dawn of modernity.
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