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Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Gender Studies.
2018 (Swedish)In: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, E-ISSN 2001-1377, Vol. 39, no 2-3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Retrophilia and the Desire for the Past

In this article, I question hierarchies of temporality by a critical examination of difference, that is, the time conception of a still indicative demarcation between past, present and future characteristic of the historical consciousness in Western society. My approach consists of a tripartite theoretical argument, which makes up for the first part of the article. The first step is constituted by my thesis in which I claim that a pivotal driving force in Western hierarchical historiography consists of the desire for the past, implicating a desire for difference. The second step complicates this desire by establishing a multidimensional model of desire, in which difference is diffused into differences motivated by cognition, emotion, politics and sexuality. The third step raises the possibility of dissolving difference altogether by an analytical concept I name retrophilia, love of the past, where time levels are claimed to be encouraged to collapse. In the second part of the article I concretize my argumentation by a reading of Gabriella Håkansson’s historical novel Aldermanns arvinge (Aldermann’s heir, 2013), set in the eighteenth century. By using a multidimensional model of desire and the figuration of retrophilia as reading tools, I conclude that the novel stages difference in the plural rather than the singular. These differences are evoked by multidimensional desires in which the past does not have to play the part of the Other. Instead embodiment and sensual experience give way to alternative ways of understanding both time and history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 39, no 2-3
Keywords [en]
queer temporality, historiography, historical fiction, desire for the past, retrophilia, Gabriella Håkansson, Aldermanns arvinge
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160704OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160704DiVA, id: diva2:1252699
Available from: 2018-10-02 Created: 2018-10-02 Last updated: 2018-11-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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