11 Sept. University of Sydney: The creative investment of multiculturalism and the transnational (contact Giorgia Alù for details)
12 Sept. UTS: Meaningful Places and Meaningful Lives (contact Gloria De Vincenti for details)
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The creative investment of multiculturalism and the transnational
In multiculturalism, as Michael Cronin has argued, “the community constitutes both the grounds for access to entitlements and the primary framework for self-definition.” (2006) The experience of the transnational is instead characterized by “multiple activities – economic, political, cultural, personal – that require sustained contacts and travel across national borders” (Sara Ahmed et all, 2003: 3)
While the community plays a vital and essential role in the context of multiculturalism, individual skills, abilities and knowledge appear to be the essential traits of the transnational. While these two existential conditions and categories seem very different, typifying a historical shift in the definition and self-actuation of identity, they have something in common. They are linked to the experience of uprooting and regrounding, and yet they respond to this same experience in ways and by employing creative processes that are markedly different. After providing a general discussion and definition of multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism and the transnational, I will argue that it is by interrogating the creative process of imaginative and symbolic representation of the experience of uprooting and regrounding that a meaningful and potentially empowering distinction can be made between multiculturalism and the transnational, opening the ways for future engagements and investments in the creative process of in-between agents.
Meaningful Places and Meaningful Lives
Starting from a discussion of Sigmund Freud’s definition of happiness as the connection between human and world (Civilization and its Discontents), this talk will present a reconsideration of the relation between subject and object by mobilizing an interdisciplinary approach, including philosophy, cultural studies, geography, sociology and literary studies. The hypothesis is that places that are marked by a mutual relation between individuals and things, and in which, therefore, the attention and care practices by individuals is directly related to, determined, and generated by the things and objects therein, are meaningful. As opposed to Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented-Ontology, which argue for a recognition of the singularity or suchness of objects outside of and beyond the representative impulse, I claim that a new post-Kantian understanding of correlationism is essential to make sense of new forms of expression and knowledge, such as transcultural expression.