Periodic Reporting for period 3 - HOM (Homo Mimeticus: Theory and Criticism)
Reporting period: 2019-03-01 to 2020-08-31
Such case studies make clear that understanding the powers of imitation (mimesis) in the digital age is crucial to come to grips with some of the major challenges of the twenty-first century such as the digital revolution and the rise far-right movements. In fact, if growing evidence from the neurosciences (mirror neurons, brain plasticity) shows that humans have an involuntary tendency to mimic dominant models, be they good or bad, real or fictional, then much more critical attention should be devoted in the humanities to understand not only how humans represent the world (mimetic realism) but also how the world is currently forming and transforming humans (mimetic behavior). The HOM project's main objective is to contribute to this paradigm shift on discourses of imitation by engaging in scholarly and public debates that address fields as diverse as literary theory, continental philosophy, musicology, film studies, and political theory in terms that are relevant for both academic and non-academic audiences. Planned outputs include academic talks, lectures and workshops, scholarly articles, monographs (both in English and in translation), journals' special issues, radio interviews, and video interviews, all of which are currently ongoing.
Expected results will include more articles than originally foreseen for the theoretical part of the project (SP C) as well as a monograph on violence and the unconscious (in preparation), the unplanned publication of a co-edited special issue for the literary part of the project (SP A), the organization of a mid-term workshop and respective publication of the proceedings (SP C), the organization of lectures and seminars as part of HOM Seminar and the organization of a major final international conference at the end of the grant. While it is possible that some of the intended publications for SP A and B will be delayed with respect to the initial timetable, the publications in SP C, and the collaboration with major international figures it entails, will not only amply compensate for it but will increase the international visibility and impact of the HOM project.