P49
Translating cultural imaginaries of home: near-homes and far-homes

Convenors:
Ullrich Kockel (Heriot-Watt University)
Location:
Jakobi 2, 438
Start time:
2 July, 2013 at 10:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This workshop invites creative engagement with translations of "home" in different cultural contexts, drawing attention to the cultural embeddedness of feeling, remembering, imagining, longing for home. Topics may include strange encounters, homecomings, memory landscapes, or the semantics of home.

Long abstract:

Anthropology has been described as intercultural translation - levering meanings from one context to another, not just in a linguistic sense. As things, ideas and people circulate, they end up in different contexts. What does this mean for cultural expressions of "home", or "home" as a cultural concept, in situations of cultural encounter? Is "home" then a social (with you) or individual psychological (within you) phenomenon? Can it be grasped ontologically, even if it is different for different cultural actors? If so, can, and should we rise to the challenge of essentialism? Translation as cultural activity is about mediating between diverse "fundamentals". Cultural diffusion happens by translation, whereby a trait originating elsewhere is (gradually) understood in terms of, and adapted to, the local, or whereby a person originating elsewhere gradually comes to terms with and adapts to his/her new locale (and the locale with/to him/her). For this workshop, the Place Wisdom Working Group invites creative engagement with interpretations and translations of "home" in different contexts, drawing attention to the cultural embeddedness of "home". Topics include strange encounters, homecomings, memory landscapes, or the semantics of home. By referring to 'cultural imaginaries', we explicitly seek engagement with literary and artistic perspectives. On what we envisage as a multi-medial, multi-sensory, shared journey towards a place where nobody has yet been (Ernst Bloch), we want to explore together what different cultural imaginaries of "home" might reveal about future "home"-worlds we are co-creating, both in our daily lives and as researchers.