Monday, October 25, 2021

Autumn Semiosalong 2021: Mythokatalysis

Series description: Mythokatalysis compounds the Greek μῦθος (myth) and κατάλυσις (catalysis). The Greek-French dictionary Le Grand Bailly offers, among other definitions, for the first: “expressed word, discourse”, and for the second: “action of dissolving, to destroy (a government), to end”. The title is inspired by the opening lines of Roland Barthes’ major work on the topic: “mythology can only have an historical foundation, for myth is a type of speech chosen by history: it cannot possibly evolve from the ‘nature’ of things.” Myth has an orthogonal relationship with ideology – ideology ‘naturalizes’ the cultural codes to the point of invisibility, where myth both precedes and undermines culture. Italian fabulist semioticians like Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino, and Roberto Calasso, wove images from mythology into synthetic works that simultaneously challenged culture and germinated new myths. The conception of myth in this way is like Janus of the Two Faces, the Roman god of duality, doorways, and transitions. Thus we are interested in both the appropriation of myth in subversive action, as well as the dissolution of myths which have themselves become naturalized. Mythokatalysis articulates contemporary social debates in which myth serves both progressive and reactionary agendas. We invite you to join our series, and to expect topics including colonialism and postcolonialism, politics of identity, symbolic violence, ideology critique, and others.

October 14th: Auli Viidalepp and Viktoria Yermolaieva        

October 28th: Mattia Bellini and Eduardo Chávez             

Novemer 11th: Siobahn Kattago and Ignacio Ramos        

November 24th: Shekoufeh Mohammadi and Eleni Aleksandri 

December 9th: Juri Talvet and Jaan Valsiner


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