“Since , O Mazda from the beginning, Thou didst create soul and body, mental power and knowledge , and since Thou didst bestow to mankind the power to act , speak and guide , you wished that everyone should chose their own faith and path freely.”

Zaratostra - Yasna 31, Verse 11

One who always thinks of his own safety and profit, how can he love the joy-bringing Mother Earth? The righteous man that follows Asha's Law shall dwell in regions radiant with Thy Sun, the abode where wise ones dwell.”

Zaratostra Yasna, Verse 2

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Minutes and Discussion: Research Network 28th Sept 2010

Research Network 28 Sept 2010
The Site is a Stage
Minutes and Discussion

Senior Members
Mammad Aidani
Peter Eckersall
Louise Hitchcock
James Oliver
Gocha Tsetskhladze

Student Participants:
Marcia Nugent
Joy-lyn Bell-Ogilby
Caroline Tully

Agenda distributed
Purpose and goals of group outlined

* Future meetings will alternate between on campus lunch time meetings and social          
meetings at an off-site location at an ethnic restaurant.
* A 1 day conference will be held toward the end of semester 1 in 2011.
Proposed dates were a Sunday or a Thursday at the end of semester or towards the end of the Easter break, on Thurs April 28 or Sun 1 May. The end of semester dates were not good for Gocha. Peter will be on SSP-long but will submit a paper
* Members are extremely eager but there were absences due to being sick, having surgery, and it being the break.
We agreed that a BYO Lunch time meeting would be held next on Monday 18 October at 1pm. The proposed location is in the Staff Lounge of the Old Quadrangle. The Old Quad is building 150 on the campus map and is located between the Old Arts and Raymond Priestly Buildings. The staff lounge is in the southwest corner of the Old Quad on the first floor.
* It was uncertain whether we would meet during the summer break but Louise and Mammad proposed a Christmas time social meeting at a Persian restaurant for those who were in town.
* We discussed the possibility of a presentation at Research Day in the various Schools involved. C & C is already full, and PASI is being split up. The group will make a presentation at SHS Research Day on Oct 22. It will be scheduled between 10am & 12pm, to accommodate our schedules.

* The discussion was lively and productive with both James and Louise indicating that they were already getting ideas for research papers.

Below is an edited summary of the discussions undertaken:

Mammad: suffering alienation displacement specifically Iranians, working within arts, sedimentation as a model, presentations, references to remote and/ or ancient symbols, names places, ancient civilizations and how they are rewritten into contemporary life. An archaeology of emotions. Look into the past and present to create interdisciplinary dialogues. We are performing all the time. Ancient history comes into present narratives.
Joy: are there different degrees of relating to the past in different societies. It's symbolic and emotional. Whether you are a villager or an elite you have stories and strong attachments.
James Oliver: anthropology cultural identity, and cultural identity with relationship to place, mental health, migrants, education, performativity - dialectic of social life
Petere Eckersall Japanese studies, cultural history and space in Japan in the 1960’s, plays in sites since the 1980’s with modernity, virtual creativity and future memories project. Staging of performance.
Gocha T classical archaeologist, colonization between Greeks and natives, try to compare between modern colonization.
Joy wants to rehabilitate the Phoenicians and look at great diaspora during the Iron Age and look at Phoenicians as transposers of culture, looking at the sea as something connecting people, and knowledge of the sea by the Phoenicians. Use the vessels; look at coastal regions that informed the identities.  Evidence for changes in the landscape.
Caroline looking at reception of antiquity in neo paganism
Marcia: looking at identity through art
Mammad: displacement is something that happened in all different time periods. Contemporary people are connected to the past even if they don't speak of it. How narratives are consciously or unconsciously shared. The smells of food or sounds always evoke a response. Hopes, dreams, arts, positive aspects; not just trauma informs migration experience. Sedimentation of emotions.
Joy: is displacement a Near Eastern phenomenon.
Mammad: there are sites wherever you go. Social and cultural theory has not dealt with sedimentation. Romanticism and nostalgia
Peter: performativity deals with repetition through time and space. Performativity challenges authenticity. Physical presence: places are performative.
Caroline - do Iranians go to pilgrimage sites?
Mammad: it might be about childhood nostalgia, it may be available in literature.
Louise - Homer and the Bible are examples of that
Caroline - there is imagined heritage
Joy: what about the difference between migration and colonization- one is imposed, possibilities, memories
Peter: scholar who took people through his village and recounted his childhood to be contradicted by his mother
James: colonization v migration - both can be oppressive. Performance is looking forwards as it's also looking forwards. Joy: not an entire family can migrate; the child has to negotiate a variety of relationships. Gocha: all migration is forced. You don't migrate for no reason.
Mammad: how does modern language and global context bring new ways of analyzing? Stories change over 10 years. Emotions are readily accessible and it's about us. Our current mindset revolves around the past, sedimented emotions bring us to alien places, which are expressed through conversations. Experiences during rehearsal are producing new texts. Peter: rivalry between China and Japan
Gocha: Migration: links and memory something that persists mainly in the first and second generation.
Mammad: enacted through the body.
Peter - some people don't want to be ethnic. Theatre privileges the idea that you have to have an identity.
Louise - how do you identify acculturation?
Peter there's a book about invented Japanese traditions. What happens if you don't smell the cherries?
Mammad - it's about the experience, what happens when they see something?
Louise - what happens if you no longer have the experiences that evoke your memories?
Mammad: no grand narratives, but there are fragmented narratives. A freer less structured situation. The nearness of the evocative experience, how do symbols do this? Shared symbols collapse the boundaries of status difference. Suffering is a site of creating beauty because there is also hope. Debilitating emotions in first 2 generations. Suffering is a site of redemption.
Peter: modern theater is the reinvention of communities particularly through music and song which is not threatening whereas warrior traditions are not revived. Performance is used to revive, mentioned a book by Joy Hendry, and entitled Reclaiming Culture: Indigenous People and Representation. It deals with how and why indigenous cultures around the world can be rekindled. Performance is negotiated.  Knowledge is assumed in our intellectual transactions.

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