Why Cultural Analysis?

As the principal arena for the study of representations, cultural analysis – the historical and multidisciplinary study of representations, and hence different from cultural studies, which deals with the present day and with representations of minorities – seems particularly well suited to the understanding of the period that gave birth to the awareness of representation, of its effectiveness and of the many issue and problems it involves: namely, the 16th and 17th centuries. This approach, which connects critical and theoretical reflection on the objects of study with precisely contextualised analyses of the uses and practices these objects give rise to, allows us to understand the epistemological environment and the conditions of artistic creation of an age, the links between the arts, society and the entirety of networks of distribution, both in their technical materiality and in their intellectual significance.  On the one hand, this approach makes it possible to work at the point where literature, art history and philosophy intersect; and, on the other hand, it allows the inclusion of an entire group of phenomena and expressions which elude the canonical categorisations of the academic disciplines (such as mixed genres, minor literary and artistic genres, etc.). And in this way light is shed on the entirety of factors which have contributed to the episteme of an age.

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