Jeffrey Andrew Barash
University of Picardie – Jules Verne
Collective Memory, Social Imaginaries, and the Transformation of Political Mythology in the Age of the Mass Media
24 November 2020, 18h00 (Lisbon Time — GMT+0)
This session will take place via streaming (Zoom link here)
Whatever structural similarities anthropologists might posit to typify and systematize the myths that have been narrated since time immemorial, I will insist in this talk on the appearance over the past decades of a novel kind of political myth adapted to a specifically modern significance and function. How might we account for this novel function of political myth in the contemporary world? According to my interpretation, the contemporary singularity of its meaning and function depends on mutations on a global scale in the modes of collective experience; in the ways in which experience communicated among vast groups is collectively remembered and imaginatively deployed. This talk will investigate these mutations in collective modes of experience and remembrance, which may be traced to the remarkable influence of the mass media that, over the past century and a half, have relentlessly accelerated their communicative capacity and extended their global reach.