Backward Glances: History, Imagination, and Memory
University College Cork, Ireland.
31st August – 1st September 2011
Society is marked by a fascination with its past, yet this need or desire to look backward and understand, is complicated by the illusive nature of the past. Accessible only through the sites of text, memory and imagination, the past is, in essence, unstable and transitory. Both individual and communal in nature, it is continually exposed to processes of re-interpretation, revision, and re-writing. Anchored in the present, the backward glance is influenced by the concerns and needs of that present, and subject to the dominant ideological perspectives of a fleeting contemporary moment.
Backward Glances, a two-day interdisciplinary conference at University College Cork, seeks to generate dialogue and debate about the nature and function of the retrospective gaze. Exploring the diverse modes by which culture strives to assimilate its history, the conference considers the manner in which constructions of the past are conditioned by the lens of the present. The desire to reflect on and reshape former times is not limited to literature. The organisers invite papers from a wide variety of fields. Topics may include but are not confined to:
• National history and national memory
• Spaces of Memory
• Historical fiction
• Individual and collective pasts
• Contested histories
• History and trauma
• History and gender
Abstracts of approximately 200-250 words to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12th May 2011.
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