This interdisciplinary conference investigates the complex relationship between
memory and restitution in the aftermath of human and natural destruction. We ask how memorial discourses contribute to the establishment of official and unofficial forms of justice through their imbrication with the diverse institutions of the public sphere. In so doing, we analyse the ways in which memory may be shaped by the medium of representation and redress, examining whether different types of disaster (environmental, genocidal, terrorist) demand disparate modes of restitution and/or commemoration. Finally, in the wake of the recent transcultural turn in memory studies, we consider the ethics of translating paradigms of justice across local and national contexts, questioning whether it is possible to conceive of a truly international model of historical reckoning, or whether processes of restitution must necessarily be the result of the specific cultural and historical circumstances in which they arise.
Professor Stef Craps, University of Ghent
Professor Anna Reading, King’s College London
Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge, University of East Anglia
For the full programme, see http://www.memoryandrestitution.co.uk/programme/
Papers will consider the following:
* The difficulties of working through traumatic events in ways that accommodate both the needs of individual victims and the demands of wider society.
* The relationship between divergent forms of historical redress in the public
sphere (from judicial trials to museum exhibits, works of literature, financial
reparation, governmental policy, commemorative architecture, and claims over
territory or land).
* The differences between restitution, retribution, compensation, and closure, and
the divergent ethical and political implications attached to these varying forms of
historical reckoning as they are manifested in cultural and commemorative practice.
* The kinds of individual and collective sovereignty that result from different
modes of restitution.
* The political and ethical implications of adopting comparative approaches to
memory and justice.
* How the work of transnational bodies impacts, complements, or frustrates attempts
to reckon with difficult pasts in local and national communities.
* The ways in which diverse forms of cultural practice aim to resist reinscribing
structures of inequality at local, national, and global levels.
Dr Lucy Bond (Westminster)
Dr Rick Crownshaw (Goldsmiths)
Dr Jessica Rapson (Goldsmiths)
5 - 6 July, 2013
The Boardroom, University of Westminster
309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2HW
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