The Place We Have Lost

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:10
Oral Presentation
Paolo PERULLI, University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy
Loss of place and globalization are two main topoi of contemporary social sciences in different domains, from sociology and philosophy to geography and anthropology. Starting from the re-reading of early texts of the 1990’s on local/global and neoregionalism, a genealogy and analysis of current trends of “place” and “local” are proposed. The paper’s thesis is that the ongoing global passage doesn’t close with the local past, on the contrary it projects the local towards a future to be fully investigated.

The argument will be organized around two thematic nuclei: sense of belonging and openness.

The former nucleus contains the idea of “being part”: to keep apart but at the same time to belong, to take part in, to be part of, to be in our own place which belongs to us. However the terms “place” ,“local” and “locality” have an unclear, even obscure meaning in the ancient, classical theory: the seduction of place and genius loci are ideas elaborated by the moderns.

The latter nucleus is centered around the idea of openness: to the global, to space, to sharing, to pooling, to the event (ex-venire) , to occur, and so on. Future is seen as this novelty. With the risk of forgetting what is essential to our social and spatial identities.

Why elaborate around these words? Because words have strong performative roles, and our language is losing control over the meanings of words in global capitalism’s epoch.