Call for Attendance: ’Mediated Memory: Of Monuments, Machines and Madeleines‘
Symposium, 29 January 2010, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.
***********Call for Attendees***********
Sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s “Beyond Text” programme, http://www.beyondtext.ac.uk/SLI.shtml
’Mediated Memory: Of Monuments, Machines and Madeleines‘ is a free, interdisciplinary one-day symposium hosted by the Graduate School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom. The symposium will be held Friday 29th January 2010 and aims to examine 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, philosophy, psychology, the sciences, sociology and theology.
We invite current postgraduate students, academics and practitioners working within cultural institutions (or whose work otherwise relates directly to the themes of the symposium) to attend. Attendance is free, but places are limited. Students may be eligible for some assistance with travel expenses, please contact the organisers for details.
If you wish to attend, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org giving your name, details of your institution, your role within that institution (students should additionally indicate their phase of study) and your research interests. Please also specify any special dietary requirements you may have.
Keynote Speaker: Dr Mariangela Palladino, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Glasgow
Student 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.
Student 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.
Student 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.
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