This research cluster bridges studies of the storage and retrieval of information (memory), and research on how information about the past is ascertained in the first place (historical production). The attempt to know the past involves contemplating an incomplete set of traces, and using the imagination to formulate a picture of how life was. Western archaeologists and historians do this according to canons of probability, the ‘historical imagination’ as Collingwood termed it. The historical imagination works differently in other cultures. People can learn about the past through being possessed by historical figures, or encountering ghosts and spirits from the past, or asking an elder or a shaman to dream the past to disclose knowledge. This research cluster coordinates work on temporality, memory, historicization, and urges the comparative study of the epistemologies that authorize historical knowledge in world societies. For more information contact Professor Charles Stewart (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Charles Stewart, dreaming as a mode of historicization in Greece and more general work on the concept of ‘historicity’.
Michael Stewart, works on the features of Roma memory/collective memory, and on the Gypsy holocaust through oral histories.
Filotas Ditsas, PhD student, researching alternative archaeologists in Greece and their accounts of the Ancient Greeks.
Manuela Pellegrino, PhD student studying the Greek dialect of Puglia (Italy) attending to the speakers’ generational experiences of speaking or not-speaking the language. Memory organized according to different epochal periods of common experience.
Dimitra Kofti, PhD student on the sense of past, present and future among Bulgarian workers who have become downsized flexible labour force in the very same factory where they were once more enfranchised under socialism.
Daniel M. Knight, post-doc, concepts of time and temporality in Greece and work on embodied history in the economic crisis.
Tobia Farnetti, PhD student, researching an isolated hunting and gathering group in northeastern Siberia after the collapse of the Soviet state, with particular focus on ideas of time, history, and reversibility.
Tobia Farnetti and Charles Stewart have translated and prefaced an article by Ernesto de Martino's 'Crisis of Presence and Religious Reintegration', HAU 2, 2 (2012).
The research cluster on Historical Consciousness maintains an active programme of events within UCL and beyond, fostering a strong trans-disciplinary dimension to its research activity.
The Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago has awarded a grant to Charles Stewart and Stephan Palmié to hold an international conference on 'The Ethnography of History' to take place in Chicago in spring 2014. Further details can be found at the Seed Projects website.
In 2012-13 we are running a reading group devoted to the theme of Crisis: Social Suffering and Temporality which jointly with colleagues at the LSE.
In September 2012 we
held an international workshop at UCL Anthropology on the theme of The
Ethnography of Eastern Christianities, which was convened by Charles
Stewart. For more information visit the event page of The Ethnography of the Eastern Christianities.
In May 2011 Professor
Stewart also convened an international conference at the American College of
Greece (DEREE), titled Colonizing the Greek Mind? The Reception of Western
Psychotherapeutics in Greece. For more information visit the event page of the international conference "Colonizing the Greek Mind" .
During the academic year of 2008-09 Charles Stewart and Southampton archaeologist Yannis Hamilakis convened a seminar series run jointly between the Institute of Archaeology and the Department of Anthropology at UCL on the theme of Ethnographic Approaches to Materiality and Time.
Charles Stewart has been teaching since 2010 a course in Temporality, Consciousness and Everyday Life which explores some of the core themes developed in the work of the research cluster.
Stewart, Charles. 2012. Dreaming and
Historical Consciousness in Island Greece. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
Stewart, Michael (ed.) 2012 - The Gypsy Menace. Populism and the New Anti-Gypsy Politics, London: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Stewart, Charles. 2007. Creolization: History, Ethnography, Theory. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. 2007
Stewart, Michael. 2007. How does genocide happen? In R. Astuti et al (eds.), Questions of Anthropology. London: Berg
Hirsch, Eric and Charles Stewart (eds.) 2005. Ethnographies of Historicity. Special issue of History and Anthropology 16(3).
Stewart, Michael. 2004. Remembering without commemoration: The mnemonics and politics of Holocaust memories among European Roma. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 10(4): 561-582
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