On Imagination, Memory and the Future

2024-07-14 03:11:54

G. N. Devy

On Imagination, Memory and the Future


June 28, 2023    
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Mazumdar-Shaw Auditorium, Museum of Art & Photography
22 Kasturba Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka, 560001
Map Unavailable

The Hunter, Anand Gadapa, c. 2008, Watercolour on paper, Image: H. 55.9 cm, W. 76.2 cm, MAC.00111

Philosophical debates over ‘Imagination’ and ‘Memory’ have been around for a long time. Thomas Hobbes demonised Imagination as an evil force in the 17th century. While two centuries later, Samuel Taylor Coleridge passionately defended Imagination, turning Memory into the arch villain in contexts of creative expression. 

Memory has been at the centre of major classics and masterpieces in the arts. Sigmund Freud highlighted its significance to the creative process. Yet, philosophers are not quite sure if Memory is a delusion; a make-belief gathering of things gone-past; or an innate cognitive mechanism gifted to man’s recursive brain. Is it a natural way of remembering things or an illusion?

In this lecture, G. N. Devy will present these conflicting positions and comment on the place of memory in art, culture and politics. The lecture will draw upon the cultural and linguistic traditions of India as well as Europe to arrive at a formulation about the future of human memory.

This talk is organised in collaboration with the Archives at NCBS (National Centre for Biological Sciences).

G. N. Devy

Obaid Siddiqi Chair 2022-23, Archives at NCBS

G. N. Devy is Obaid Siddiqi Chair Professor at the NCBS-TIFR, an Hon. Senior Fellow of the Asiatic Society of Bombay and the chairperson, The People’s Linguistic Survey of India. Described as a cultural activist, he has written or edited over a hundred books in Literature, Philosophy, Education, Linguistics, History and Anthropology.

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