Memories of Conflict, Conflicts of Memory
13- 14 February, 2013
Senate House, London
Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies, University College London Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory
There are very few facets of public and private life that are not affected by cultural memories of war and conflict. Recent academic scholarship has also been revolutionised as experts on literature, cinema, history, area studies, sociology, anthropology and many others attempt to theorise the memory-narratives of the last century marked by unprecedented totalitarian regimes, coup d’états, military confrontations, popular movements and what Alain Badiou recently called the passion for the real.
This interdisciplinary conference will examine the various ways in which memories of wars and conflicts of the twentieth century are constructed, resisted, appropriated and debated in contemporary culture. The conference will provide a space for dialogue and interchange of ideas among scholars researching on memory issues related to different regions of the globe. In particular, we are interested in discussing the tensions between local and transnational memory-narratives, official and subversive forms of commemoration, hegemonic and alternative conceptions of remembering.
Questions we hope to address:
• What benefits and risks are involved when using theories, terms and concepts coined for specific conflicts when dealing with problems relating to other regions?
• To what extent has current research on memory of war and conflict in different parts of the world influenced the wider field of memory studies?
• What power and/or knowledge relations are established between academic researchers and the victims of such conflicts?
• What motivations lie behind our decision to research memory issues?
The conference will draw together cutting-edge research from theorists and practitioners and we invite proposals from people working in literature, cinema, history, area studies, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, religious studies, media studies, political theory, law, international relations and all other relevant fields.
Themes to be addressed in the conference include, but are not limited to:
• Official commemoration
• Gendered memory
• Cultural memory and communicative memory
• Memory, history and law
• Contested memories
• Memory, migration, exile and displacement
• Second witnessing and generational transmission
• Fictions of memory and performing memory
• Sites of memory, testimony and archives