This working group will examine postmodern culture's attenuation in the reliability of terms such as 'truth', 'reality', 'objectivity', and 'authenticity'. The imperilled role of these adjectives has its counterpart in the contested status of 'the document', a designation that is increasingly problematic for humanists across a wide swath of disciplines. With its connotation of epistemological security, 'the document' continues to serve as an assertion of--and a foil for--certain ways of knowing. It is (uneasily) both an enduring source of authority in historical practice and a metaphor for the challenges to that authority that have shaped humanistic inquiry for the past few decades.
The Documentary Realities Working Group will reach beyond the expertise of any single field to ask wide-ranging questions, such as:
The working group will meet regularly to discuss each others' work and that of external scholars, and will also sponsor a variety of events, including guest lectures by scholars in the GTA, film screenings, and group attendance at relevant performances and exhibitions.
James Cahill, Cinema Studies and French
Sara Angel, Art