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David Freedberg new director of Warburg institute (Read 2826 times)
hck
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David Freedberg new director of Warburg institute
05.03.2015 at 14:04:22
 
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for contact information etc. concerning hck (Heinrich C. Kuhn): see http://www.phil-hum-ren.uni-muenchen.de/php/Kuhn/
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hck
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Re: David Freedberg new director of Warburg
Reply #1 - 11.03.2015 at 08:51:28
 
Adam Gopnik: In the Memory Ward : The Warburg is Britain’s most eccentric and original library. Can it survive? ("The New Yorker" ; 2015-03-16 issue) has i.a.:
Quote:
David Freedberg, a distinguished art historian who has been resident for many years at Columbia University, had agreed to take over the directorship, at a considerable reduction of salary; he will live in a small apartment in walking distance of the library.

Freedberg spent many formative years working at the library, and, like every newly created boss of an old institution with a high opinion of itself, he is obviously tactful about seeming to want to change the institution too radically. But he also makes it clear that he feels the Warburg has departed from some of the richer intellectual paths it pioneered. “In the past thirty years, the Warburg seemed, I think it’s fair to say, to have become wary about exploring the lower and more basic levels of cultural formations—those rougher sides of culture, the superstitious and even the barbaric, which fascinated Warburg himself,” he said the other day. “Warburg was interested in the engines that sustained imagery in human minds and caused symbols to recur, rather than wanting to simply collect archival evidence of its persistence. There’s been a reluctance to explore the sides of Warburg that were concerned with the irrational and the universal. We need to get back to thinking about the Urformen and the engrams in contemporary terms—to the study, including the neurological and scientific study, of culturally modulated gestures. The failure to understand that task contributed to the decline of the Warburg, even while, paradoxically, the public interest in Aby Warburg has grown.

“My dream of reviving the Warburg is a dream of making it the center of vigorous and vital cultural history in our time. It needs to engage with current debates, however dismaying. The Warburg is very well positioned to take a stand on crosscultural ethical issues, on cross-disciplinary issues—even questions of human rights. It can be, and, I hope, will be, more engaged with contemporary issues than it has ever been before.”

 
Then there is also:
Quote:
Lisa Jardine, for her part, notes, “I have a hard time believing that in the next five to ten years the situation will not arise again. Unless, of course, a major benefactor is found.” Freedberg recognizes as well that the future will depend on ambitious fund-raising, a daunting task in a country where state funding is still more the norm for higher education than American-style private endowment. As bankers know, sooner or later someone will have to pay.
(highlighting hck)
 
I have some doubts on this. IMO financing independent research and higher education is a public task. If the tax payers pay for it: the decision what to fund and what not to fund can basically be a democratic one. If you privatise such tasks: you'll have decisions by persons or bodies who are accountable to nobody.
 
Yes, I know, state funding for UK institutions is not what many of us (including me) would want it to be. But between lobbying private persons and/or institutions and lobbying the public: for any institution that believes to exist and to act in interest of the whole commonwealth: preferences should be clear. IMO.
 
Just my 2 cents (€).
 


 
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/03/16/in-the-memory-ward seen thanks to a RT by Sjoerd Levelt on twitter.
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for contact information etc. concerning hck (Heinrich C. Kuhn): see http://www.phil-hum-ren.uni-muenchen.de/php/Kuhn/
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