Winter School: Absence, Presence, Distance: Ways of Seeing the Past

4th Winter School of the Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts

Venue: Tallinn University, Estonia
Period: January 20-24, 2014
Application deadline: December 30, 2013


The fourth Winter School of the Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts focuses on our relations with the past, assuming that the way we think about the past shapes the way we view both the present and the future. Questions of ‘distance’, ‘absence’ and ‘presence’ have been debated in a number of disciplines, including visual studies, history, philosophy, cultural theory, and anthropology. In the complex matter of constructing a past that we can engage with problems of proximity and distance, presence and absence, arise at a multitude of levels – temporal, spatial, visual, cognitive, esthetical and other.  ‘Representation’, the main conceptual tool in culture studies and arts, means strictly speaking a making present of, or the granting of presence (again) to something that is absent.
However, this immediately raises the question of what it might mean to give presence to something that is absent; how could something possibly be present in its absence. Therefore, we invite the participants of the Winter School to revisit the traditional distinction between absence and presence; to discuss how far from an object or event do we need to be to see it clearly; to debate what does it actually mean for something or someone to be ‘past’.

The successful participation to the winter school awards 4-6 ECTS credits.

The Programme of the Winter School consists of:

  1. interdisciplinary lectures and discussions conducted by Estonian and guest lecturers;
  2. student seminars where graduate participants present and discuss their own research;
  3. student workshops outside the customary classroom environment.

Application Procedure

Perspective participants must register on the winter school website before December 30, 2013.


Information & contacts

Mr Ott Kagovere
Student Coordinator

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