Thursday, April 15, 2010

Identity and Reinterpretation

Reinterpretation, an old concept developed by Melville Herskovits, is the way in which people seek to relate and adapt their changing experiences by using the past as a marker for interpreting the present.

This was the main theme to the book of objects I produced for another class. The contributors were asked to provide a photograph of an object that had value and was older than them, so the age was greater than the person who owned it. Each object was used as way to interpret something of value. People apply memory and meaning to items, and often use reinterpretation to make sense of new objects in their lives.

Hamer, J. H. "Identity, process, and reinterpretation: The past made present and the present made past." Anthropos 89 (1994): 1– 190.

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