54th Annual Comparative Literature Conference: "Cultural Memory and Trauma: Literary and Visual Representations"

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Comparative World Literature, California State University Long Beach

CFP: 54th Annual Comparative World Literature Conference

Cultural Memory and Trauma: Literary and Visual Representations


Wednesday and Thursday, April 24-25, 2019

The Comparative World Literature Program at California State University, Long Beach, invites abstracts for presentations at its 54th annual conference in Long Beach, California. This year we would like participants to consider the relationship between trauma and memory, both individual and collective memory and their intersections, within a variety of disciplinary contexts. How is a cultural memory formed, or how do cultures remember the past? How do different voices/media contribute to constructing a cultural memory? How does the act of commemorating trauma affect or even alter the way that an experience is remembered?

We invite papers on the following topics, which can include but are not limited to:

  • between memory and history: cultural memory as representation
  • in tension with the past: absence and memory
  • embodied memory: the body as container and conveyer of memory
  • the role of objects in preserving cultural memory
  • cultural memory, trauma, and ritual: the role of religion
  • individual experience and cultural memory: post-colonial approaches
  • transmitting traumatic memories: the role of culture
  • the female/trans/queer/etc. body as a carrier of memory
  • the phenomenon of Holocaust deniers / deniers in general: contesting cultural memory
  • testimonials / bearing witness: the importance of oral tradition within cultural memory
  • cultural cognition: how cultural values shape risk perception
  • the role of culture in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • dealing with trauma through comedy & mediated memory

The Plenary Talk will be given by Dr. Valerie Orlando, Professor of French and Francophone Literatures and Head of the Department of French and Italian at the University of Maryland, College Park. The title of Dr. Orlando’s talk is: “The Trauma of Mediterranean Crossings When a ‘Global Subject’ Is Not One: Depictions of Race and Immigration in Algerian Cinema.”

Proposals for 15-20 minute presentations should clearly explain the relationship of the paper to the conference theme, describe the evidence to be examined, and offer tentative conclusions. Abstracts of no more than 300 words (not including optional bibliography) should be submitted by January 31, 2019. Please submit abstracts as a Word document as an email attachment to (comparativeworldliterature@gmail.com). Please do not embed proposals in the text of the email. The conference committee will review all proposals, with accepted papers receiving notification by February 21, 2019.