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CESTA Seminar | Grant Parker -- South Africa's Many Media of Forgetfulness
What are the best ways of engaging with South Africa’s pasts? It is necessary to ask this question in an abstract and general way, as I make the transition from one very focused project (an edited book) to a broader project or projects. Material from South Africa, Greece, Rome: Classical Confrontations is in the process of becoming the core of a digital museum with the same name. While this project is framed by a specific question – How have ancient Greece and Rome intersected with South African pasts? – there is much work to be done in integrating it with broader debates on museology, archives and heritage in South Africa, while addressing more theoretical questions on the nature of collective memory and materiality. How might digital projects on monumentality proceed at a time of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign, at a time of a wider crisis in civil discourse?
Grant Parker is Associate Professor and Chair of Classics and Richard E. Guggenhime Faculty Scholar at Stanford. He first studied at the University of Cape Town and his first teaching position was at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Among his publications are The Agony of Asar: A Thesis on Slavery by the Former Slave, J. E. J. Capitein, 1717-47 (Markus Wiener Publishers, 2001) and, as editor, South Africa, Greece, Rome: Classical Confrontations (Cambridge UP, 2017 forthcoming).
Image credit: Sethembile Msezane (South Africa, b. 1991). (Detail of) Untitled (Worker's Day), 2014.