An interdisciplinary network of academics, writers, artists and scientists.
The ‘Re-‘ Interdisciplinary Network asks why cultures repeat, reproduce, reprint, restage, reframe, redisplay, adapt, memorialise, archive etc – and why this is a topical question in a digital era. It brings together interests in cultural reproduction, repetition and reference that extend beyond disciplinary boundaries and the university/public divide.
From adaptation, preservation, and memorial to brand and social media ‘sharing’, our primary research aim is to explore whether different socially-driven practices of repetition have meaningfully related structures, implications, and dynamics.
‘Re-‘ thinks outside established vocabularies and categories to interrogate and re-situate ideas such as originals, copies, canons, icons, objects, traditions, authenticity, translation, memory, museums, archives etc.
The ‘Re-‘ Network’s ultimate goal is to help equip the public with a more fluent grasp of how cultural repetition frames a particular worldview, implies a consensus, offers an identity, and performs a persuasive past.
Founded at CRASSH as Research Network in 2018, after an exploratory conference at UCL in 2017, the Re- Network has held seminars, workshops and conferences on the following topics:
Beyond Originals and Copies: hierarchical relations of ‘originals’ and their copies as a western and nineteenth-century view of culture (seminar series).
Technologies of Reproduction: how different technologies of reproduction afford different types of social and political relations (seminar series).
Iteration as Persuasion in a Digital Age (seminar series: forthcoming as a Special Issue of AI and Society Journal, 2021).
Canons vs icons: different kinds of aggregation (category, label, type). Canon-formation driven by collective capacities to recognise, vs. institutional gatekeepers (seminar series).
Reprint: looking at the social agencies and impacts of different eras and types of ‘public-ation’ – rethinking what books can be, and do, especially when revived (seminar series).
Upcoming ‘Re-‘ events:
Other Re- topics in the pipeline:
Performing archives: the interdependence of archive and event; how archives engage with the future, not just the past, and co-constitute the items they collect.
Traditions: seeing traditions as a collusive practice rather than a thing – the traditional. What is the difference between tradition, fashion and virality?
Chronologies: imaginaries of sequence – comparing calendars, seasonality, shapes of history – line vs Medieval circle vs interruption etc. The timeline in Western culture.
Nostalgia: embodied and disembodied place, record, and re-enactment. The new term ‘retraditionalise’. The emotional nature of digital public spaces.
Re-exhibition: the performing object, museology, architecture as palimpsest, site-specificity, the agency of objects.