Date: Friday 11th May (starting late afternoon) – Saturday 12th May (finishing early evening), 2001.
An interdisciplinary conference at Keele University, hosted by the School of American Studies.
As the response to our first call for papers was enthusiastic and
international, we have decided to issue a second call for papers and
organise a slightly larger conference to accommodate the evident high
level of interest in cultural memory and mourning. (The length of the
conference will not change, as we hope to institute a series of
We would like to take this opportunity to announce our plenary speakers, MARITA STURKEN and the novelist JAYNE ANNE PHILLIPS. Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Motherkind, Shelter, Machine Dreams and Black Tickets, will be talking about and reading from her work, much of which
addresses the problems of mourning. Marita Sturken (Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California) is the author of Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, The AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering (1997) and, with Lisa Cartwright, Practices of Looking:An Introduction to Visual Culture (2001). She has also written on issues of recovered memory syndrome, American memory of the Japanese internment,and paranoid narratives of forgetting.
Cultural memory has attracted increasing and varied academic attention across disciplines in recent years. The cultural attempts to remember events that seem to defy representation or comprehension have been a matter of particular scrutiny. In this light, memory studies has raised the following questions. In what ways is mourning (or melancholia) a response to memories that cannot be captured or explained or ‘worked through’? In what ways is mourning a part of remembering? How does the representation of memory function as mourning? In what ways is the representation of memory the residue of what cannot be mourned or what cannot even be remembered? While hoping to maintain the diversity of memories studied and the varied approach to them, this conference will seek to provide a focus for interdisciplinary memory studies in terms of mourning on a North American cultural scene, the significance of what is mourned there and how it is mourned. From the inception of mourning as part of the cultural fabric of the nation in the face of its foundational, genocidal events, to the current obsession with memory in a supposedly amnesiac culture, we believe this American focus will suggest a rich resource for conference papers.
Psychoanalysis/ trauma theory
Monuments, museums, memorials
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The Vietnam War
Memories of slavery and/or genocide of Native Americans
Amnesia and forgetting
Place and space
Haunting and ghosts
Deadline for abstracts (of no more than 300 words): 5th MARCH, 2001.
(Conference papers should be no more than 20 minutes.)
Please send abstracts and requests for further information to:
School of American Studies
Staffs ST5 5BG, UK
Phone +44 (0)1782 583019
Fax +44 (0)1782 583460
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