Call for Papers: Mediated Memory
****** Deadline for submission: 25 November 2009 ******
’Mediated Memory: Of Monuments, Machines and Madeleines‘ symposium, 29 January 2010, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.
Sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s “Beyond Text” programme
Current postgraduate students are invited to submit abstracts of papers and presentations for one of three panel discussions, each based on an element of the title: Monuments, Machines and Madeleines. The symposium hopes to examine these interconnected aspects of the mediation of memory through a variety of academic approaches, including – but not limited to – anthropology, archaeology, archival studies, art history, cultural studies and cultural theory, geography, history, linguistics, literary studies and criticism, psychology, the sciences, sociology and theology. See below for more detail about the purpose of each panel and suggested themes for submission.
Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 25th November 2009. Applicants should include their names, details of their institution and phase of study, and indicate for which panel they consider their paper most relevant.
Panel 1: Monuments
We purposefully memorialise ourselves and others, our achievements and cataclysms, through the production and archiving of material structures and objects, including architecture, artworks, music, text, museums and archives. What roles do these objects and institutions fulfil within our personal, familial, social and cultural lives? What is their significance in narratives of the past—for example in memoirs, oral history interviews, or in traditional cultures and societies? This panel investigates both the relationship between the construction of memorial objects and modes of remembrance, and also the processes of creating, transmitting, storing and memorialising narratives through objects of memory.
• The postmodern memory institution
• Processes of commissioning
• Public and personal narratives of remembrance
• Monuments as sites of identity
• The archive as a site of power
• Remembering and forgetting
Panel 2: Machines
Plato’s accusation in The Phaedrus that the technology of writing, “will create forgetfulness in the souls of those who learn it, because they will not use their memories,” acknowledges that mediating technologies alter processes of remembering. Plato, of course, overlooks the benefits of such supplements to memory—the irony of such a statement is that we are only aware Plato said this because he wrote it down. Similar controversies abound regarding newer technologies such as photography, video, phonography and the Web. In a highly technologised society, where gadgetry is fetishised and innovation relentless, such memory devices will continue to proliferate. This section of the symposium investigates the effects of the delegation of memory to machines —technologies in a larger sense — upon human experience and its consequences for our personal and public past.
• Duplication and distribution: the ephemerality of the digital
• Machines as metaphors for memory
• Capture and loss: the future limits of memory machines
• The status of oral testimony
• Authenticity: media as witness
Panel 3: Madeleines
Proust’s madeleine cake famously triggers his narrator’s memory, involuntarily inducing a sudden and intense recollection of a specific time and place through associations with sensory experience. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, all can transport us instantly. The vivid, uncanny memories connected with such sensory triggers are produced entirely through chance associations and as such differ from intended memorial objects. This element of the symposium explores how such sensory encounters and chance remembrances inter-relate as well as the wider ways in which unintentional sites of memory participate in the constitution of our lifeworld.
• Psychology, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, Sensory and synaesthetic experience
• Revelation and epiphany
• Film, music, literature as memory trigger
• Memories of place: architecture and landscape
• Unintended and accidental sites of memory
• Introspective recollection
• The capture of sensory experience
Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute,
University of Glasgow,
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