Wondering what happens to nostalgia

Thanks to the uploading cure-all (Youtube), my video is here. I didn’t have a lot to say, but I’d like to throw out into cyberspace some of my thoughts and questions about how nostalgia interacts with the theories we’ve discussed so far. Enjoy.

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2 thoughts on “Wondering what happens to nostalgia

  1. Nostalgia is a topic I am super interested in – it was a huge part of my thesis, and something I think is really undertheorized in general. Svetlana Boym’s _The Future of Nostalgia_ might be something you want to check out. Alongside developing nostalgia as something more than this discarded form of reminiscence, she always has a concept called “off-modern” which seems like it might be really useful to this class. She explains better than I can: “…the adverb off confuses our sense of direction; it makes us explore slideshadows and backalleys rather than the straight road of progress; it allows us to take a detour from the deterministic narrative of twentieth-century history. Off-modernism offered a critique of both the modern fascination with newness and no less modern reinvention of tradition. In the off-modern tradition, reflection and longing, estrangement and affection go together.”

    It’s interesting you talk about the sincerity of the past; a lot of what I’ve read goes the other way, treating nostalgia as a kind of memory kitsch. I am tempted to think it operates both ways, depending on the memory objects it latches on to and the elements of a time we find ourselves craving. Perhaps, also, kitsch is itself a form of sincerity – but it could also just be that I am predisposed to like it. Would definitely be interested in talking more about this in class though.

    • Thanks for the encouragement and the information. I’ve not done much study at all on nostalgia, but I definitely would love to hear more about it, especially in the context of our discussion of media and its interaction with human psychology (all the more from people like you!). Thanks again for the input!

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