New PHW edition: Cultural Oblivion

May 2022, Public History Weekly’s tenth volume. One month, 7 papers, 1 interview, 7 open peer reviews on “Cultural Oblivion”, edited together with Thomas Hellmuth. Detailed introductory text by me.

People have been gazing up at the moon since time immemorial. Nowadays, we tend to neglect looking upwards because of the omnipresence of tele-vision screens and light pollution. Even so, our fascination with the moon persists. This manifests in the way in which so many of us will flood our social media with photographs of the moon whenever we manage to escape to areas less affected by light pollution – albeit being permanently inundated with countless pictures and fully aware that our photos are fated to turn out wholly unsatisfactory in quality anyway. In the same manner in which we find ourselves attracted to all kinds of secrets shared between people as if there were a horror vacui of socially being well-informed, we are forever pondering on the invisible part of the moon veiled by the Earth’s shadow or possibly even its dark, distant side. If only we felt the same way about human culture! For, in this case, the relationship between visibility and invisibility is similar, yet we act as if our moon was nothing but a pointed crescent. One cannot help but be amazed by the contradictory nature of the human mind!

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