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CAPPE Workshop

Commemoration: between aesthetics and politics

with visiting scholar, Professor Alfonso Galindo Hervás
April 16th 2024 | 10am-1pm | Mithras House, G30

If you are interested in joining online please use this Teams link


The argument of this lecture is developed in five steps. Firstly, it is argued that transitional justice (which involves reparation, mourning and reconciliation) requires as a fundamental presupposition the representation of the past. Secondly, it explains what the current regime of presentist historicity consists of and how it affects said representation of the past. Thirdly, Reinhart Koselleck’s criticism of the political use of memory is presented, focusing on his analysis of funerary monuments. Fourthly, the postmemory strategy developed by Marianne Hirsch is presented as an alternative for a non-ideological political use of memory. Fifthly, I use Jacques Rancière’s theory to defend a certain understanding of the political dimension of funerary monuments and, more generally, of works of art. From this platform, I present and analyze different works of art that can be considered a representation of the past especially suitable for transitional justice processes.


In short, the talk defends the need to represent the violent past to do justice, as well as the difficulty of doing so in the current regime of presentist historicity. It examines Koselleck’s proposal, which identifies the risks of the political use of the representation of the past, as well as Hirsch’s proposal, which offers a way out of such questioning. Finally, Rancière’s approach to the political dimension of aesthetics is presented and defended, and, from this framework, different contemporary works of art that represent the violent past in a singular way are analysed.


Alfonso Galindo Hervás Biography

Associate Professor at the University of Murcia (Spain). He is principal investigator of the Group “Philosophy and contemporary sociohistorical processes” and of the Research Project “Study and Critique of Italian Theory”. His research and publications focus on the fields of contemporary political philosophy and the history of political concepts. He has devoted special attention to Italian political thought, to the liberal tradition and to some of the main phenomena of current politics, such as populism. He is a member of the “Biblioteca Saavedra Fajardo de Pensamiento Político Hispánico” and of the editorial board of the journal Res Publica. He is a regular contributor to several American and European universities. He is the author of numerous publications related to his area of research and teaching, including the following books: (2003) La soberanía. De la teología política al comunitarismo impolítico; (2005) Política y mesianismo. Giorgio Agamben; (2006) Cincuenta mitos (IV Essay Prize Miguel Espinosa); (2014) (with E. Ujaldón) La cultura política liberal. Pasado, presente y futuro; (2015) Pensamiento impolítico contemporáneo. Ontología (y) política en Agamben, Badiou, Esposito y Nancy; (2016) (with E. Ujaldón) Diez mitos de la democracia. Contra la demagogia y el populismo; (2021) Historia y conceptos políticos. Una introducción a Reinhart Koselleck; (2021) Conceptos políticos fundamentales. Un análisis contemporáneo; (2022) (with E. Ujaldón) Sexo, cuerpo, boxeo. Un alegato contra la izquierda reaccionaria.

We look forward to seeing you there, if you have any questions about this event please contact cappe@brighton.ac.uk


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