Moments of Possibility, Sites of Struggle and Disparate Memories: Critical Retrospect is not Nostalgia

Professor Griselda Pollock will be giving a keynote lecture at this event organised by the Centre for Research in Visual Culture at the University of Nottingham.

This keynote lecture by the eminent art historian Professor Griselda Pollock will bring a year-long research theme ‘1972, or thereabouts’ to a close. Pollock’s talk will draw on many of the themes and issues covered over the past year of events, focussing on the questions raised by the blind spots, lags and repetitions that have arisen in the fifty years since the art-historical transformations of the year 1972.

The talk will be followed by a drinks reception.

About Griselda Pollock’s talk

"This is a dangerous and seductive invitation to reconsider a political-cultural moment that, lodged in both personal and generational memory, solicits critical retrospect half a century later. As but one intellectual formed around 1972, but reshaped over the subsequent decades, I now recall shapelessness, bits and pieces, disparate centres of activity, daily excitements, false hopes, discontent not yet fed with sufficient theoretical resources for translation into action or even understanding.

“Invited to re-examine the constellation of historical events, erupting political movements and avalanche of new theoretical resources captured by the conference title, my lecture draws on the Benjaminian proposition that ‘history’ arises only in a present prepared by that history to render its own past intelligible or illegible.

“I shall aim to address some of the dilemmas, if not crises, of our present through the lens of a dispassionate analysis of the foreign-ness of ca. 1972 even as it has been folded into selective narratives. I need to ask myself what did I miss? What did or could I not see? What do we not remember? And also, what do we need to revisit, re-read, and perhaps re-absorb?" - Griselda Pollock


Clive Granger A48
University Park Campus
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2RD

Booking information

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This event will also be livestreamed: please register to receive the link before the event.


Professor Griselda Pollock. Photograph by Antony Bryant.