Dahlem Humanities Center
Ioana Vultur has been trained in French and Comparative Literature. She received her PhD from the University Paris IV-Sorbonne with a dissertation entitled Time and Remembrance in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and Broch’s The Death of Virgil (under the direction of Antoine Compagnon). The dissertation has been published in 2003 under the title Proust and Broch : the boarders of time, the borders of memory.
Before joining the Freie Universität, Ioana Vultur was postdoctoral fellow at the École des Hautes Études en sciences sociales in Paris where she also held a teaching position for several years. Her research interests focus on the European “modernist” novel of the first half of the XXth century, as well as on aesthetics and hermeneutics. She is actually working on a book with the working-title Hermeneutics and Culture (to be published by Gallimard). The aim of the book is to develop a naturalistically updated version of hermeneutics, based on a dialogue between hermeneutics, social sciences, cognitive sciences and philosophy of mind.
Her research-program at the Freie Universität, “Cultural History or Cultural Evolution?”, which belongs to the research scope Problems of Modeling Cultural History of the Dahlem Humanities Center, focuses on the problem of the cultural transmission of representations. Its aim is ultimately to develop an integrative model of cultural history/ evolution, which is one of the central aspects of a naturalistically updated version of hermeneutics.
Cultural history or cultural evolution ?
The project aims to develop a model of cultural diachrony based on a dialogue between the hermeneutical model of cultural history and the descriptive-explanatory “naturalistic” model of cultural evolution. The relationship between the two models is a long history of conflicts and misunderstandings. The distinction between cultural history and cultural evolution should be read as a convenient terminological convention pointing to these opposed biases (intentionalism vs. causalism, methodological holism vs. individualism, etc.)
The project is based on the double hypothesis that, notwithstanding this conflicting past, the two models are presently co-evolving around the same questions. I would like to analyze the fundamental challenges with which the hermeneutical and the naturalistic model are confronted on the level of a correct understanding of the diachronic dynamics of culture: they must account for cultural contingency, they must be able to give a convincing analysis of the nature of shared representations (which are the vehicles of cultural dynamics), they must be able to cope with the multilayered reality of cultural temporality and they must be able to give an account of the dialectics of memory and oblivion.
My hypothesis is that these challenges can be met only by overcoming the respective biases of the two approaches. In this way I hope to contribute to the groundwork for an integrative model of cultural history /evolution. The theoretical analysis will be anchored in an empirical case study taken from the diachrony of literary evolution: the modernist European novel from the beginning of the XXth century (Proust, Joyce, Kafka, Musil, Broch). This post-doctoral program is an important aspect of my ongoing research on Hermeneutics and Culture which will be finalized by a book (Éditions Gallimard).
Proust et Broch : les frontières du temps, les frontières de la mémoire, (Proust and Broch : the borders of time, the borders of memory), (Preface by Antoine Compagnon), L’Harmattan, coll. « Littératures comparées », 2003, 442 p.
to be published in 2012 : Pour une herméneutique de la culture, (For a hermeneutics of culture), (contract signed with Editions Gallimard in 2009)
« Les Constellations temporelles de l’instant chez Proust et Broch » (Temporal constellations of the instant in Proust and Broch), Studi di letteratura francese, XXV, 2000, p. 25-49.
« La Mémoire comme ironisation de l’avenir dans A la recherche du temps perdu de Marcel Proust » (Memory as irony of the future in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time), Flammarion, L’Atelier du roman, « L’art du dialogue », n°34, juin 2003, p. 158-168.
« La Réception de la Recherche : une question de genre ? » (The Reception of In Search for Lost Time : a question of genre ?), Poétique, n°142, avril 2005, p. 239-254.
« Fictions autophages chez Marguerite Duras. A propos du cycle indien » (Marguerite Duras’s Authophagic fictions. Notes about the Indian cycle), in collaboration with Jean-Marie Schaeffer, Poétique, février 2006, n°148, p. 3-24.
« Efficacité historique et transhistorique : Les Ménines de Velazquez » (Historical and transhistorical efficacity : Velasquez’s Las Meninas), Documenti, « Efficacia delle immagini », n°3, décembre 2006, en ligne à l’adresse www.documenti.ve.it
« L’écriture comme accomplissement du désir dans la Recherche » (Writing as the acomplishment of desire in La Recherche), Dialogos, n°13, 2007, p. 44-54.
« Le roman moderne et la transformation de la fiction : le cas de Proust », (The modern novel and the transformation of fiction : the case of Proust), Fiction de l’Occident, Fiction de l’Orient, (ed. by Yasusuke Oura), Kyoto University Press, 2008, p. 61-90 (translated into Japanese).
« La communication littéraire selon Paul Ricoeur » (Paul Ricoeur’s conception of literary communication), Poétique, avril 2011, n°166, p. 241-249.
« Quand la fiction écrit l’histoire » (When fiction writes history), http://narratologie.ehess.fr
« La question de l’autre : un dialogue entre Todorov et l’herméneutique » (The question of the other : a dialogue between Todorov and hermeneutics) , Esprit, to be published in 2012.
« Structure et concrétisation dans l’esthétique d’Ingarden » (Structure and concretization in Ingarden’s aesthetics), in : Roman Ingarden Today, Éditions des Archives contemporaines (to be published in automn 2012).
“Broch’s Death of Virgil as a specular novel”, in: The Soul and its Forms in Modern Times. The Yale 50th Anniversary Hermann Broch Symposium, Camden House, New-York (to be published in 2013).
Encyclopedia Entries :
“Mimesis”, “Immersion” in collaboration with Jean-Marie Schaeffer, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory, (eds. David Herman, Manfred Jahn and Marie-Laure Ryan), London / New York, 2005.