Genealogies of Memory in Central and Eastern Europe Conference, Poland

Deadline: 1 July 2011
Open to: scholars of various disciplines e.g. sociologists, historians, literature specialists and others studying Central and Eastern Europe
Dates and Venue: 23 – 25 November 2011, Warsaw, Poland
Costs: a limited number of travel and accommodation refunds for younger scholars and doctoral students is available

CONFERENCE 

Genealogies of Memory in Central and Eastern Europe
Theories and Methods

Warsaw, November 23-25, 2011

The conference will address the following issues:

The specific nature of Central and Eastern Europe’s historical experience. In this section we ask whether there was any twentieth century historical experience which could be defined as a common experience for the countries of the region. What historical events and traditions may bind the societies of Central and Eastern Europe into communities of memory, even if they remain internally conflicted? What was the influence of various ethnic groups and the specifics of nation building process on shaping memories in the region? Then, are the theoretical concepts and research methods developed by scholars from outside the region adequate for conveying the specificity– if such exists – of Central and Eastern Europe?

Research categories

In this part we concentrate on the methodology of memory research. The terminology used in the global literature on memory is rich and varied. References to the past are classified into such categories of memory as: collective, cultural, national, public, official and others. While in one context the term “public memory” may seem adequate, in another one an opposition between historical policy and vernacular memory may seem more appropriate. Methodologies also differ regarding the media of memory under consideration. In this respect, memory may be defined e.g. as an action or a text. Both institutions and individuals may be regarded as agents of memory. Memory often occurs immediately alongside – or is superseded by – other concepts such as trauma, forgetting, myth and tradition. And lastly, why do we speak of memory and not of history when considering how the past exists in the present? In the most general sense, what theories should we explore and what institutions and media of memory should we examine in order to render the phenomenon of addressing the past in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe?

Research themes, techniques and data collections

In this part we ask scholars of various disciplines e.g. sociologists, historians, literature specialists and others studying Central and Eastern Europe to present their research methods and techniques. We are interested in studies on memory from Germany to Russia, from Estonia to Bulgaria. There will also be a place to discuss both the practice and the practitioners of commemoration: historical policy and its makers as well as museums and other institutions collecting visual documentation and oral history.

Costs

A limited number of travel and accommodation refunds for younger scholars and doctoral students is available. There is no conference fee.

How to Apply

Abstracts: Please send an abstract of your paper of no more than 300 words and short biographical information by July, 1. 2011. You will be asked to submit your final conference paper by November, 1, so we could circulate it to the commentators. Please send your abstracts and all inquiries to: [email protected] Publication of selected papers in a peer-reviewed journal is planned.

The official webpage.

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