The Politics of Memory (CFP, Re-Thinking Humanities and Social Sciences Conference, Croatia, September 2012)

The 3rd International Conference on Re-Thinking Humanities and Social Sciences is to be held at the University of Zadar, Croatia, from September 6 – 9, 2012, on the topic The Politics of Memory.

Keynote speakers: Laura Mulvey (Department of History of Art and Screen Media, University of London) and Lauren Berlant (Department of English Language and Literature, University of Chicago).

How does remembrance shape our links to the past? What is the link between past and present? How are narratives of past constituted, maintained or dissipated? How is memory performed? How various discourses of the past inscribe social relations and subjectivities? How are our innermost emotions, desires and fantasies articulated with a discursive space of memory in the present? What is the link between communication technologies and the ways past is represented? How are we to understand various technologies of memory? Today, more than ever, questions such as these raise a more general concern about the politics of memory. Once, the past was seen as a stable and known, it was used as a tool to construct collective identities, nation states, to give us a feeling of belonging and common origin, to create what was seen as “our heritage”. But today the concept of the “ours”, with all of its categories, calls into question the notion of heritage. There has been growing awareness among scholars that the way the past is remembered is always articulated along specific social axes of differentiation such as class, gender, ethnic background etc. Each of these axes is invested with particular meanings, which can differ according to the different discursive formations that are used as an interpretative framework. All of these constitute the politics of memory that is performed in everyday cultural, political and economic practices?

At this conference we problematise the politics of memory and the way it is embodied in films, photographs, performances, literature, public art, memorials …. We are especially interested in (1) exploring the circulation of historical memories that offer the basis of identification in a given cultural, economic and political moment; (2) the possible responsive ways to, what Lauren Berlant calls “the urgencies of a moment (the historical moment, the sexual moment, the intimate moment, the singular subjective moment where survival time is another name for ordinary life)” and (3) the ways the new technology offers an opportunity to “aesthetics of the past to meet the aesthetics of the present” through “the aesthetic of delay” and confusion between living and dead (Laura Mulvey).

Proposals are invited from scholars from different fields and disciplines of humanities and social sciences for individual papers by June 1st 2012. For full details, visit the conference web site.

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