Keynote Address

11 A.M.–Noon

In Search of Nostalgia: Ruins

The ruin engages a wide spectrum of considerations: cultural, aesthetic, religious, political and psychoanalytic (to name just a few). The ruins of antiquity have, of course, always fascinated scholars and tourists. But the Romantics in particular viewed ancient ruins through the lens of nostalgia, a perspective that is not without political implications. Freud, who grew up reading the Romantics, is himself obsessed with ruins and archeology. His idea of the unconscious is heavily influenced by the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and by archeological digs.

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