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Call For Papers: "The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression"

Published on 7 December, 2015

Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies summer school June 2-4, 2016, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The fifth Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies summer school will take place from June 2-4, 2016 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will be hosted by the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS). The theme of the 2016 event will be “The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression." Our keynote speakers will be Berber Bevernage (Ghent), Jodi A. Byrd (Illinois), and Françoise Vergès (Paris). Submissions are open to all graduate students interested in memory studies.
Mnemonics is an international collaborative effort for graduate education in the interdisciplinary field of memory studies. Each year a different partner institution hosts a summer school for select students on a particular theme pertinent to the study of cultural memory. Panels of scholarly presentations by graduate students will be supplemented by professionalization workshops, cultural events, and opportunities for informal socializing. Three distinguished keynote lecturers will present new work and will engage with participants. Partners from the different campuses affiliated with Mnemonics will also be on site and will help in responding to and mentoring graduate students.
We have chosen the theme of forgetting as a way of highlighting an essential, but often overlooked component of the dynamics of remembrance. As the pioneering memory studies scholar Aleida Assmann has written, “Memory, including cultural memory, is always permeated and shot through with forgetting. In order to remember anything one has to forget; but what is forgotten need not necessarily be lost forever.” Both Assmann and the anthropologist Paul Connerton point out that forgetting is not a “unitary phenomenon”: it comes in multiple forms, including those associated with traumatic events, post-conflict amnesties, and repressive state apparatuses. Furthermore, as Assmann and Connerton emphasize, there is also a positive side to forgetting: discarding the past can make possible new beginnings and assist in the overcoming of violent pasts. The topic, “The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression,” will provide space for consideration of this variety of forms in individual and collective contexts as well as in theoretical reflection and concrete case studies. We anticipate papers on such topics as Holocaust and Armenian Genocide denial, migration and forgetting, nation building and selective remembrance, and trauma and repression, among other things.
In the months leading up to the conference, HGMS will host a reading group for students and faculty in Illinois on the theme of “forgetting” as a way of preparing the intellectual ground for the event. Information about the reading group will be posted on our Facebook page so that others will have the option of reading along.

Excerpt from the cfp:

The fifth Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies summer school will take place from June 2-4, 2016 on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will be hosted by the Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies (HGMS).

The theme of the 2016 event will be “The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression."

Our keynote speakers will be Berber Bevernage (Ghent), Jodi A. Byrd (Illinois), and Françoise Vergès (Paris).

Submissions are open to all graduate students interested in memory studies.

Mnemonics is an international collaborative effort for graduate education in the interdisciplinary field of memory studies. Each year a different partner institution hosts a summer school for select students on a particular theme pertinent to the study of cultural memory. Panels of scholarly presentations by graduate students will be supplemented by professionalization workshops, cultural events, and opportunities for informal socializing.

Three distinguished keynote lecturers will present new work and will engage with participants. Partners from the different campuses affiliated with Mnemonics will also be on site and will help in responding to and mentoring graduate students.

We have chosen the theme of forgetting as a way of highlighting an essential, but often overlooked component of the dynamics of remembrance. As the pioneering memory studies scholar Aleida Assmann has written, “Memory, including cultural memory, is always permeated and shot through with forgetting. In order to remember anything one has to forget; but what is forgotten need not necessarily be lost forever.”

Both Assmann and the anthropologist Paul Connerton point out that forgetting is not a “unitary phenomenon”: it comes in multiple forms, including those associated with traumatic events, post-conflict amnesties, and repressive state apparatuses. Furthermore, as Assmann and Connerton emphasize, there is also a positive side to forgetting: discarding the past can make possible new beginnings and assist in the overcoming of violent pasts.

The topic, “The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression,” will provide space for consideration of this variety of forms in individual and collective contexts as well as in theoretical reflection and concrete case studies. We anticipate papers on such topics as Holocaust and Armenian Genocide denial, migration and forgetting, nation building and selective remembrance, and trauma and repression, among other things.

In the months leading up to the conference, HGMS will host a reading group for students and faculty in Illinois on the theme of “forgetting” as a way of preparing the intellectual ground for the event. Information about the reading group will be posted on our Facebook page so that others will have the option of reading along.

Possible topics might include, but are not restricted to:

 

  • philosophical approaches to forgetting (Nietzsche, Ricoeur, etc.)
  • digital media and forgetting
  • literatures of forgetting
  • genocide denial and the politics of memory
  • psychoanalytic approaches to forgetting, repression, and disavowal
  • amnesty and amnesia
  • productive forgetting and the arts of memory
  • commemoration, counter-monuments, and forgetting
  • state-sponsored forgetting
  • minority histories and imperial amnesia
  • silence(s)
  • individual vs. collective forgetting
  • non-sites of memory
  • archival forgetting
  • historical repetition and the consequences of forgetting
  • embodied forgetting
  • therapeutic forgetting

Submission: Submissions are open to all graduate students interested in memory studies.
Send: A 300-word abstract for a 15-minute paper (including title, presenter’s name, and institutional affiliation), a description of your graduate research project (one paragraph), and a short CV (max. one page) as a single Word or PDF document to: mnemonics2016@gmail.com
Deadline: February 1, 2016
more information available at http://www.mnemonics.ugent.be/
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