Making Sense of Memory & History
International Communication Association Pre-Conference
Sponsored by the Communication History Division of the International Communication Association
Date: May 22, 2014
Time: 8:30 AM – 5 PM
Location: Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)
History and memory – two modes of thinking about the past that often appear at odds – have an intimate, albeit at times strained, intellectual relationship. Despite the argued antagonism between history and memory studies, historians Natalie Zemon Davis and Randolph Starn suggested in their introduction to the 1989 special issue of Representations that, “Rather than insisting on the opposition between memory and history, then, we want to emphasize their interdependence…If anything, it is the tension or outright conflict between history and memory that seem necessary and productive. The explosive pertinence of a remembered detail may challenge repressive or merely complacent systems of prescriptive memory or history; memory, like the body, may speak in a language that reasoned inquiry will not hear.” (5) Following Davis & Starn, this pre-conference proposes to grapple with this tension between history and memory, exploring the varied ways in which scholars, from a variety of subfields within communication studies and across the humanities, have engaged with this relationship in recent years. Through its emphasis upon cross-field, cross-disciplinary connections, this pre-conference will highlight new directions within memory studies, underscoring the intersections of work done within communication, media studies, journalism, rhetoric, public history, and the digital humanities more broadly.
This pre-conference seeks to build upon existing theoretical and methodological frameworks as well as empirical studies by opening a space for new and reconsidered perspectives that capitalize upon the interdisciplinarity of memory studies and the possibilities of new technologies. The pre-conference planners seek submissions that draw upon under-utilized theoretical paradigms and analytical frameworks, focus on world regions or nations that have received relatively little historical attention, consider comparative analysis, make use of underutilized source materials, revise dominant interpretations of institutions, individuals, and practices, and/or consider how digital technologies may challenge understandings of public memory and history.
While not limited to the following topics, possible themes to be considered in the pre-conference include:
1. Theorizing the relationship between memory and history in a digital world
2. Methodologies for conducting memory research
3. Materiality and public memory
4. Audiences and public memory
5. Applied history
6. Pedagogies of public memory
The goal of this pre-conference most broadly is to encourage cross-field and cross-disciplinary participation and potential future collaboration and scholarly networking.
Abstracts of 300 words (maximum) should be submitted no later than 20 November 2013. Send abstracts to: Nicole Maurantonio at email@example.com. Authors will be informed regarding acceptance/rejection for the pre-conference no later than December 15, 2013. In an effort to facilitate informed discussion of papers, the organizers hope to have the papers for this pre-conference posted online. For this reason, full papers will need to be submitted no later than April 15, 2014. The pre-conference will take place on May 22, 2014.
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