Special Issue "Remembrance: between agency and updating of the past"
Daniela Losiggio (CONICET, UBA-IIGG/ UNAJ)
Lucila Svampa (CONICET, UBA-IIGG)
Elias J. Palti (CONICET, UNQ/UBA)
Period for receiving articles: July 1st to September 1st, 2021
Publication forecast: 1st semester of 2022
Remembrance: between agency and actualization of the past
During early 21st century, public opinion renewed the complaints arising from the philosophy of history and the so-called studies of memory. On the political level, recently, a new version of neoliberalism – especially in Latin America – has reformulated its ways of dealing with historical meanings. There seems to be an invitation to the dehistoricization of the present, which is understood prima facie as a device of de-agency, but would this not give rise to a hypocritical formulation of uses of the past, with their corresponding stories, political myths and feats of origin, or, on the contrary, would it open a perspective in which the claims of Truth are already untenable, for hiding a mythical background? Again, it is the theory of history that informs these questions. The thesis that history cannot be understood as a continuum or as historia magistra vitae has not lost its validity and, however, that does not contradict the unappealable necessity of the different historical meanings for collective action. Agency here is understood as the capacity for action, associated with specific ways of exercising subjectivity, whose characteristics depend on the way in which the historical sense is conceived, that is, what type of matrix is established to link – or not – past, present and future.
In this context and searching for a historical update, the structuring of the temporal dimensions is combined with the social, giving rise to theoretical-political conflicts. The intervention of uses of the past, which have collective experiences and memories, makes our past time a battlefield. Thus, the ways of construction of historical knowledge are in the center of the scene, awakening disputes over the meaning of the past and the ways to access it. In turn, the various interactions between history and memory and memory and forgetting structure both our space of experiences and our horizon of expectations, forging different perspectives for the future and ways of narrating the past. This dossier is a call to reflect again on the classic and reverted concepts of the philosophy of history, such as remembrance, experience, acceleration, prognosis and time strata, among others, in order to illuminate contemporary power, politics, and the agency that history presents.