Returning / Retourner


Issue 39, Spring 2022

Guest-edited by André Habib, Suzanne Paquet and Carl Therrien

Nostalgia—that obscure neologism created by a Swiss student of medicine at the end of the 17th Century—has perhaps never been more fashionable. Its popularity both within academia and in the public sphere over the past twenty years has many causes, including, most certainly, its polymorphous, plural quality. Depending on the context in which it is pronounced, described and felt, it can be perceived either as a malady or a remedy, as regressive or progressive, as a conservative refuge or a mode of resistance,  as a marketing strategy or an ideal topic for a conference. This variety of forms, medial modalities and definitions in diverse areas or disciplines (cinema, television studies, video games, popular music, photography, art history, anthropology, literature, psychology, economy) also lends itself to a journal like Intermedialities. By thinking about nostalgia intermedially, the articles in this issue turn our attention towards the interactions between the material supports that mediate it and the wounds it evokes or cures, the artistic works it inspires, the temporalities it mobilizes. Returning (nostalgia) is hence not limited to exploring the many returns that nostalgia implies, but also the different ways it can be turned (on its head so to speak) to show its fabric and its fringes, and the borders, often porous, it shares with other affects (melancholia, sadness, regret). Our desire to return to nostalgia is not to be done with it once and for all, but rather to try to describe the variety of its positions, its multiple embodiments, and the many paths of thought it invites us to recover, yet again.

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