Feeling nostalgic?

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Cultural showcase to reveal the truth behind nostalgia.

 Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

By Rachel Cooper


A Northeast Lakeview sociology professor will talk about nostalgia and how it affects society from 3:30-5 p.m. Sept. 27 in Room 201 of Student Commons at Northeast Lakeview College.

Brittany Chozinski will lead the public talk and discussion, which is part of the 2016 Arts and Sciences Fall Cultural Showcase that runs through Oct. 6.

“I’m going to try my best to try to make some pretty dense stuff as relatable as possible,” she said.

Chozinski credits humanities Professor Tony Lack for the title, “Illusory Nostalgia.”

Lack said there is a great book written by sociologist Stephanie Coontz, “The Way We Never Were.”

“It’s an analysis of 1950s America, and even though it was a rare period in American history, maybe eight years of a ‘Leave It To Beaver’ family, we’ve still got this idea in our head that that’s the way its always been,” Lack said.

“Illusory nostalgia is not even based on anything that’s real. That is what all nostalgia is.”

Chozinski said the framework for how we remember the past is “I remember the past the way I do because of what I am going through right now.”

This event will focus on “how we memorialize the past, remember the past, how that’s sort of filtered through the lens of the present and how that can impact how we envision or even fear the future sometimes.”

“Given current events, and even political climate, we’re seeing a lot of people sort of have this nostalgic view for the way things were,” Chozinski said.

Maurice Halbwachs talked about nostalgia in many of his books, Chozinski said. A few quotes from him are “nostalgia for the past” and “illusory appearance of the past.”

She said those quotes mean even though we long for the past, it is not always realistic.

“We memorialize things that are out of our world view, and things we didn’t live through.” Chozinski said.

“How we remember the past is always socially and politically contested and can largely be said to be affected by our present.”

She said there has been a weird shift where people are not looking ahead for progress anymore — they’re looking behind them.

Chozinski will explore how this impacts the futures we create for ourselves and then question if we really want to go back.

Her biggest hope is that students will hear these public talks, look at class listings and see something they want to explore more.

Chozinski said she hopes the cultural showcase becomes an annual event.

For information on future events in the Arts and Sciences Fall Cultural Showcase go to http://www.alamo.edu/nlc/showcase/.


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