New Critical Approaches to the Trace and Its Application to Recent Literature Written in English

  • Pulham, Patricia (CoI)
  • Arias, Rosario (PI)
  • Heilmann, Ann (CoI)
  • Rousselot, Elodie (CoI)
  • Duncker, Patricia (CoI)
  • Nicolosi, Maria-Grazia (CoI)
  • Pietrzak-Franger, Monika (CoI)
  • Maierhofer, Roberta (CoI)
  • Gefter Wondrich, Roberta (CoI)

Project Details


This research into the materiality of the trace will be carried out along three main lines: on the one hand, the trace as an impression, as a
material object crucial for the reactivation of memories, which connects with the so-called Thing theory, and with museum studies and phenomenology.
On the other hand, we will analyse the intersection of the trace with food as a mnemonic object, and with illness and ageing in their relationship with the
processes of memory. Finally, in the context of the recovery of the subject and the ethical turn in artistic production, as a visible trace, we will deepen into
the implications of the conceptualisations of the trace by Paul Ricoeur and Emmanuel Levinas, suggested in the previous project. All this will allow us to
deal with a key issue in the current literary and critical context, for which the trace, so our contention goes, plays a crucial role: the questioning of the
validity of the postmodern paradigm, especially in terms of the changing conception of nostalgia in relation with the past and memory as tangible

Layperson's description

This project investigates the material traces of the past in contemporary fiction through theoretical perspectives that analyse memory, history and the past in contemporary historical literature in relation to material objects including art objects, archaeological artifacts, photography, keepsakes, and bodily traces.
Effective start/end date1/07/141/07/17


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