2 June 2011

The Practice of Memory: Time, Place, Performance

Call for papers

The Practice of Memory: Time, Place, Performance

International seminar

When: 8-9 December 2011

Where: Aarhus University

The study of (social or cultural) memory often take the form of analyses of more or less "finished" expressions and works of art, architecture, literature etc. and on the creativity or intentionality imbued in them. As important as such expressions are, in this seminar we seek to shift the focus from the works of art itself, or from their representation, to the processes, practices and performances that surround, shape and derive from them. Focusing less on the finished piece and more on the acts and assemblages of meaning and potential connected to them – whether in the form of unintended uses of sites, heritage tourism, art reception, ritual performance or something else – we want to highlight not only the social dimensions of "memory" but also the circumstances and processes under which the site or expression itself is invariably produced; the work-in-progress of memorisation, so to speak.

We are proud to present as keynote speakers two major international figures in the field: Professor Mieke Bal (University of Amsterdam) and Professor Kevin Hetherington (Open University, UK).

In addition to the two keynotes, we invite papers that deal with various aspects of the doing, shaping or performing of social or cultural memory. Some subthemes that may be addressed include (but are not limited to):

· The materiality of memory: the role of relics, objects, materiality, or what Daniel Miller has termed stuff" in the stagings and collaboration of memory

· The mediation and remediation of memory: the role of various media in practices of remembering

· Memory and place, aura and hauntedness: the role, affordances and restrictions, symbolic as well as tactile, of specific locations and sites in which memorialization "takes place"

· The concept of re-enactment and the manifold processes, performances and collaborations through which past events are re-staged and re-presenced

· Memory and history: the erasure of memory and the "need" and practices of selective memory and forgetting, including the history politics of such processes

· Memorialization and affect: the staging, production and strategic uses of affect and emotionality in memory practices

· The temporalities of memory: how acts of memory often reconfigure the role (and experience) of time, attempting to somehow break, stop or even symbolically reverse time

· Memory practices and/as transformation: how aspects of learning, healing, reconciliation or other (intended or unintended) transformational outcomes for the future are related to processes of remembering

· Memory performances and the body: the embodied dimensions of memory work and perception, as theorized by such notions as (for example) "the repertoire" and "the archive" (Diana Taylor), "kinetic empathy" (Thrift) and/or "attunement" (Massumi).

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted to memory@au.dk no later than October 1, 2011.

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