CFP: Memory and Nostalgia (Turkey) (1/5/07; 5/9/07-5/11/07)

full name / name of organization:
contact email: 

May 9-11, 2007

Ege University , Faculty of
Letters, Izmir ,

“Memory and Nostalgia”

The dialectic between ‘Memory’ and
‘Nostalgia’ has always been a significant issue for various
disciplines like history, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, gender
studies, media studies, literature, etc. Especially nostalgia, as Sean
Scanlan states, has “an uncanny ability to exceed any constraining
definition” (1). As a Greek term, comprising the two parts
“nostos” (to return home) and “algos” (pain),
nostalgia, Linda Hutcheon explains, was coined in 1688 by a Swiss medical
student “as a sophisticated … way to talk about a literally
lethal kind of severe homesickness” (1). In Nicholas Dames’
terms, nostalgia is a form of “retrospect that remembers only what
is pleasant and only what the self can employ in the present; …
[it is] an absence; what it lacks is what… has come to be regarded
as memory in its purest form” (4). Nostalgia, then, is a
“memory that is always only the necessary prehistory of the present
[which] consists of the stories about one’s past that explain and
consolidate memory rather than dispersing it into a series of vivid,
relinquished moments and … [which] can only survive by eradicating
the ‘pure memory’” (Dames 4).

Nostalgia has always been a useful compensatory tool to
construct an alternative historical reality created by the images of the
golden past, especially when there is discontent with the present
socio-economic situation in any culture. Just like governing bodies,
modern global corporations also use nostalgia to advertise their
commodities by relating either their products or companies to a more
desirable time in the past. By implanting modified images in the
prospective clients’ minds, such advertising strategies rewrite
history through forged memories about the good old days when prices were
more reasonable, goods more durable, and services were more
As Dylan Trigg, the author of The Aesthetics of
Decay: Nothingness, Nostalgia, and the Absence of Reason (2006)
claims, “nostalgia demands … the fixation of the past
… Thus, both static images – memories – and lived
experience – place – serve as homogenous platforms for the
nostalgic conscious to impose and identify itself” (1). Both memory
and nostalgia, then, have always had some spatial and territorial
connotations, whether real or ideal, either in some negative or positive
This symposium, then, aims to explore how memory and nostalgia
collaborate to construct a meaningful space in a given culture, both
individually and collectively, either through “the willing
suspension of disbelief” or as a state apparatus, with reference to
such issues as globalism, consumerism, nation-states, neo-conservatism,
etc. During the symposium we hope  such
questions as Linda Hutcheon raises about the relationship between
postmodernism and nostalgia will also be discussed: “Was [the]
postmodern recalling of the past an example of a conservative – and
therefore nostalgic – escape to an idealized, simpler era of
‘real’” (1). Or, if “nostalgia is given surplus
meaning and value at certain moments – millennial moments, like our
own,” has nostalgia become an “obsession of both mass culture
and high art” or is it only “the media’s
obsession”? (Hutcheon 1).
Proposals might include, but
are not limited to:

·    Nostalgia and Collective
Cultural Memory as Cultural Repression

Cultural Memory = Nostalgia?
Culture as Nostalgic Object and Commodity

Nostalgia, Consumerism, and the Heritage Industry

Nostalgia and Ideology
Diaspora and Nostalgia
Diaspora as Temporal Displacement
Nostalgia and Ideology
Homologies of Religious Faith and Cultural Memory or
Nostalgia as a Social Disease
The Violence of Cultural Memory
Nostalgia as the Abdication of Memory

Community without Nostalgia?
Trauma, Collective Memory, and Nostalgia

Pain and Authenticity
Nostalgic Structures of Feeling in Cultural Studies

Mourning and Melancholia in Cultural Memory

Reflective and Restorative Nostalgia

Nation, Narration, and Nostalgia
Counter Nostalgia
Literature and Art as Cultural Memory

Media of Memory (Historical Monuments, Public Archives, Oral
Histories, etc.)
Popular Culture, Amnesia, and Nostalgia

Personal Memory, Collective Identity, and Nostalgia

Historiography, Autobiography, and Nostalgia

Memory as a Means of Cultural Regeneration

Nostalgia, Memorabilia, and “Subcutaneous
Values and Nostalgia
Nationalist Interests and Nostalgia


The deadline for submission of proposals:
January 05, 2007.
The notification for acceptance of proposals: January 22-26, 2007.

We welcome proposals for
individual papers, entire sessions, presentations, performances, films,
roundtables, workshops, conversations, or alternative formats both in
English and Turkish. However, there will be no simultaneous translations
during the conference. The time allowance for any presentation is 20
minutes. Abstracts for papers should be 250-300 words in length and
should include a title. Please e-mail your proposals and short bios to:
and or mail/fax them
Atilla Silkü

Ege Üniversitesi,
Edebiyat Fakültesi,
Kültürü ve Edebiyatý Bölümü,

35100-Bornova, Ýzmir,

Fax: +90 (232) 388 11 02

Please note that selected papers will be published in the
forthcoming proceedings.
Seminar Registration Fee: USD 50 regular,
USD 30 graduate students and research assistants. USD 75 On-site
Please deposit the non-refundable seminar fee
Garanti Bankasi, Bornova Branch (Branch # 524), Izmir , Phone: +90
232 342 6002
USD Account   # 9093282  ( For International transfers: Swift Code:
YTL  Account  # 6298461

Mail or fax your
registration form and a copy of your bank receipt to:

Atilla Silkü (address

For further information please visit symposium web site:

Co-Organized by:
Ege University
Departments of American Culture and Literature & English Language and
The Embassy of the United States of America
British Council
The American
Studies Association of Turkey (ASAT)

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Received on Wed Nov 08 2006 - 12:14:23 EST