Media Fields Journal Issue 5 "Memory, Space and Media"

full name / name of organization: 
David Gray and Jade Petermon/UCSB

Call for Submissions
Media Fields Journal Issue 5: Memory, Space, and Media

Submission Deadline: November 15, 2011

Trends towards spatial analysis and memory studies have both emerged as vibrant and booming fields of inquiry in the humanities. In this special issue, we ask what is to be gained at the intersection of memory studies, spatial studies and media studies? What role does disciplinary specificity have to play in the conjunction of these fields? What are other ways to examine memory and space outside a paradigm of trauma?

Some scholars have begun recently to productively explore the intersection of these areas. In Remembering: A Phenomenological Study, Edward S. Casey writes that the "intimate relationship between memory and place is realized...through the lived body." This bodily memory and its relationship to lived places can be seen in recent documentary films such as Patricio Guzmán's Nostalgia for the Light, where Miguel Lawner, an architect and former prisoner under Pinochet's regime, reenacts the way he was able to mnemonically store the dimensions of the concentration camp where he was imprisoned by counting his paces around his cell. How can media objects help us approach these intersections between the memory of the body and place? How is embodied memory represented? What bodies show the markings of memory?

We see a unique opportunity in film and media objects to explore the possibilities of mapping memory onto place. Giuliana Bruno, in her book Atlas of Emotion, itself an exercise in mapping, locates film in a genealogy that includes the mnemonic devices that assign memories a place in an imagined architectural edifice. Aside from film, other media projects such as works produced by The Labyrinth Project, or Philip Mallory Jones' immersive narratives using Second Life have also experimented with mapping memory. How else might memory be mapped? What does a media map of memories provide to the theorization of memory?

Susannah Radstone highlights three key concerns guiding memory studies: "its urgent and committed engagement with varied instances of contemporary and historical violence, its close ties with questions of identity—and, relatedly, with identity politics—and its bridging of the domains of the personal and public, the individual and the social." What happens when these concerns are mapped on to the lived experience of space? How does a spatial approach call in to question our accepted notions concerning identity, violence and the individual and the social?

We are particularly interested in works that bring space and memory together in an analysis of media texts, objects, and spaces, as well as essays that interrogate the idea that these notions are suitable bedfellows. We welcome submissions that engage with the above themes in any way. Other questions that might guide articles, art projects, and interviews include:

What are the failings of memory and spatial studies?

How is memory raced in space?

How do these questions speak to the disciplines of race and ethnic studies, women's and feminist studies and LGBTQ studies?

Does memory offer any insights for issues of environmentalism and environmental justice?

How are some spaces forgotten in film and media texts?

Can memory studies be divorced from considerations of traumatic events?

What traumas get represented in films and media texts and which remain invisible?

How does a community's experience of a place (conceived broadly to include a region or a less-conventional place such as an online community) influence their perception of time?

How do memories once narrativized as fiction or non-fiction take place?

How do media factor in the commemoration or marking of spaces of suffering?

What do embodied memory and the senses, discursification of the environment, or futurity have to tell us about nostalgia?

We seek essays of 1500–2500 words, digital art projects, and interviews (text, audio, or video) exploring possible relations between memory, space, and media.

Please review the detailed submission guidelines at:

Feel free to contact issue co-editors Jade Petermon and David Gray with questions or proposals. E-mail all submissions and inquiries to

Submission Deadline: November 15, 2011