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. 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.
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, performs a persuasive past, implies a consensus, and offers an identity.
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.
Technologies of Reproduction: how different technologies of reproduction afford different types of social and political relations.
Iteration as Persuasion in a Digital Age (to be published as a special issue of the AI and Society Journal).
Canons vs icons: different kinds of aggregation (category, label, type). Canon-formation driven by collective capacities to recognise, vs. institutional gatekeepers.
Reprint: looking at the social agencies and impacts of different eras and types of publication – rethinking what books can be and do, especially when revived.
Upcoming ‘Re-‘ topics:
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.