Remembering and the Present
Session at the Finnish Anthropology Conference 11th-12th May 2010
Co-ordinators: Marie-Louise Karttunen (University of Helsinki), Katja Uusihakala (University of Helsinki)
In recent years, numerous scholars have reflected on a ‘memory boom’ in the humanities and social sciences which, it is said, has produced a plethora of different, often conflicting approaches to the subject – along with a ‘semantic overload’ in terminologies. We would, therefore, like to limit the subject matter of this session to discussion of empirical research (with theoretical underpinnings of course) into ways in which autobiographical and group memories are affected by their re-presentation in specific ‘presents’. Diasporic and marginal groups, or members of no-longer-fashionable social movements, for example, might be especially prone to such selective remembering/forgetting. We are particularly interested in the ways in which individual and group rememberings appear to be shaped and even transformed by the politics and values that are hegemonic in the sites of memory narration – especially when these are, in any respect, in conflict with those current at the time of the lived experience or ‘stuff’ of memory. Reports on research which casts light on the process of transformation of the framings of rememberings over time are particularly welcome.
To support such inquiries, we also invite papers which address issues such as how memories are shared and transmitted in embodied rituals; how memories are circulated in signs, practices and narratives; how memories are related to questions of heritage and claims of authenticity; and how and under what circumstances rememberings may be voiced, heard and shared, and when they are silenced.
Please contact either of the conveners with your abstract (150 words) by 31st March.
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