Nostalgia, Situated Affectivity and Museification


  • Kirill Leshchinskii 1) Kirill Leshchinskii, Department of Philosophy of Cognition, Institute of Cognitive Science, Osnabrück University
  • Leonardo Massantini Department of Civilizations and Forms of Knowledge, University of Pisa



nostalgia, situated affectivity, affective scaffolding, museification, mind invasion


In this article, nostalgia is studied within the contemporary theory of situated affectivity, which promises to offer new perspectives both on the nature and functions of nostalgia. We first introduce the phenomenon of nostalgia by focusing on some of its aspects relevant for the present discussion. Then, we articulate basic provisions of situated affectivity to establish a context for further analysis. In particular, we use two frameworks from situated affectivity – (1) affective niche construction and (2) mind invasion – to account for different modes of interaction between nostalgic agents and their environments, with a specific focus on the case of museification. The first framework is used to analyze how the environment can be intentionally structured by nostalgic agents: either to alleviate their nostalgia or otherwise instigate and maintain it externally. Here, a special attention is given to ways in which affective niches actively scaffold agents’ nostalgia and renarrate their past. The second framework is intended to show how the environment can exert its affective influence on nostalgic agents without their conscious awareness. Through the case of the Soviet past museification, we consider how the nostalgia of museum curators effectively leads to unforeseen historical renarrations and affects memories of (nostalgic) visitors.