Open Philosophy Seminar, 02.10.20

Henry Mead will give a paper in the Open Philosophy seminar series at Tallinn University on 02.10.20 (Room S-240). Title and Abstract below:

Modernist Temporalities: Fictions, Myths, and the ‘Religious Attitude’ 

This paper first considers Frank Kermode’s account of modernist apocalyptic thinking in The Sense of an Ending (1967) as a reference point for temporality studies, noting its distinctions between secular chronicity, epiphanic kairos, and intermediate forms identifiable in modern literature. Using this theory as a frame, the paper focuses on T.E. Hulme, whose essays capture a type of modernist ‘clerical scepticism’, as Kermode puts it, in treating assertions about progress or historical crisis as humanly-constructed ‘fictions’. The paper then traces Hulme’s analysis of early 20th century thought, moving from forms of positivist progress to a vitalist perspectivism – and considers his ‘religious attitude’ in his late writing, in relation to Kermode’s categories of ‘myth’ and ‘supreme fiction’.

Revolution in the 20th century podcast

Between the Times researchers Tommaso Giordani and Ksenia Shmydkaya spoke to Enriko Mäsak for the podcast Filotsoon. The topic of conversation was revolution and violence in the 20th century, and the discussion focussed on Georges Sorel, Stanislawa Przybyszewska, and their relation to the memory and heritage of 1789.

The podcast is available here:

Revolution and Violence: Views from The 20th Century

Event – Global Intellectual History Seminar

The Between the Times project is hosting an event on 14 of February: Vasileios Syros talking about ‘Global intellectual history’.

Vasileios Syros is a senior university lecturer at the University of Jyväskylä, and his scholarship focuses on the interaction among the Christian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions of political thought as well as on cross-cultural encounters in the early modern period. He is the author of Marsilius of Padua at the Intersection of Ancient and Medieval Traditions of Political Thought: University of Toronto Press (2012).
The seminar takes place on Friday, 14.02, at 16.15, room M 328.

Piret Peiker and Estonian Semiotics

Piret Peiker participated in the international workshop The Global Reception of Estonian Semiotics, Tallinn University on  20.12.2019 , organised by the Estonian Research Council supported research project “Around the World and Back Again: A Global Typology of the Reception of Estonian Semiotics“. Peiker’s presentation was titled “Lotman and the Tartu-Moscow School in Modern Higher Education“. It included examples of her own teaching practice using Lotman’s conceptualisation of time/space as a practical toolkit for close reading and analysis of texts from widely varying historical contexts.

Piret Peiker @ ASEEES

Piret Peiker participated in the international ASEEES (Association of Slavic, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies) Annual Convention, held in San Francisco, 23.11.– 26.11. 2019, with “Belief“ the convention topic of the year.

Peiker gave a presentation titled “If You Believe in Yourself, Then You (Will) Believe In the People“, and a talk as part of the round table discussion “A Nation Adrift: The 1944-1945 Wartime Diaries of Miksa Fenyö“ .

The first presentation took as its starting point the lines of one of the most popular songs of the Estonian anti-Soviet “Singing Revoltion“ and the conception of time expressed there, employing it to discuss the intellectual history of collective-individual relationships in Estonia. The round table focused on the edited volume of the same title, comprising the diaries of a Hungarian political and cultural figure of Jewish origins, a leading promoter of literary modernism in Hungary before and during the interwar period.

Discussing the “Conqueror’s Eye”

Piret Peiker discussed the exhibition “The Conqueror’s Eye: Lisa Reihana’s In Pursuit of Venus”  (KUMU art museum, Tallinn, Estonia, 20.09.2019-26.01.2010, curators Linda
Kaljundi, Eha Komissarov, Kadi Polli) in her newspaper review “What Characterises the Conqueror’s Eye?“  in the cultural section of the Estonian daily “Postimees”

The exhibition under review comparatively combines the video installation by the New
Zealand artist Reihana and a variety of materials on the Russian and Baltic German
representation of the “peoples of the Empire“ from the Baltic Sea to the Far North. Piret
Peiker’s review analyses the comparison, explicating the work in the field of Postcolonial Studies and highlighting the role of the non-linear depiction of time both in Reihana’s work and in the conception of the exhibition as a whole.

Piret Peiker and Ksenia Shmydkaya also took the students of their Postcolonial Studies
seminar (part of the international MA programme in Literature, Visual Culture and Film at TLU) to see the exhibition, the tour accompanied by one of curators, Dr. Kaljundi.

“A Home in Aardla Street” by Piret Peiker

Piret Peiker’s “A Home in Aardla Street“ („Kodu Aardla tänavas“), is a contribution to the
collection of essayistic memoirs My Childhood Home Was In the Estonian SSR (Minu
lapsepõlvekodu oli Eesti NSV-s, 2019, eds. Epp Annus, Brita Melts) by a group of Estonian humanities scholars.

The contributors of varying age and background describe the material and mental lifeworlds of their early years, highlighting the syncretism and change of the home topoi during the period. Primarily a personal reminiscence, Piret Peiker’s piece contemplates the ruptures and continuities in Estonian history and perception more generally.
The book is of interest both to an academic and to a general audience.