The Hopeful Monster is Mad! Humanities and the Evolutionary Theory of Culture

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Arguing with the thesis that evolution of culture is a continuous accumulation of gradual differences, this paper will try to explain how the creation of symbolic markers, that constitute the boundaries between different groups are a product of individual inventions, and that they do not abide the same type of development as the diffusion and elaboration of technical inventions. In this aspect, the concept of "hopeful monster" will be used to describe the leaps and the conditionings of the inventions of symbolic markers and systems.


Keywords: Evolutionary Theory of Culture, Minimum Symbolic Marker, Myth, Madness
Stream: Ethnicity, Difference, Identity , Science, Environment and the Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Bojan Mitrovic

Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Dipartimento di Storia e Storia dell'Arte, Universit√† di Trieste
Trieste, Italy, Italy

Born in Belgrade in 1975, I have recieved most of my education at the University of Trieste where I received my BA and my PhD while I did my MA at the Central European University in Budapest. My research is focused on 19th century Balkans, considered under a wide variety of approaches such as the analysis of the state-building process, history of historiography and urban history. Recently, I have been attracted to more general problems of theory of culture, creativity and identity, and this is my first contribution to this field.

Ref: H08P0643