CFP Mapping Generations of Memory in American Trauma Narratives

full name / name of organization: 
Dana Mihailescu, Mihaela Precup
contact email:,

We are looking for authors who can contribute to two chapters in a collection of essays we are currently editing. It is entitled Mapping Generations of Traumatic Memory in American Narratives. These two incomplete chapters are so far loosely called “autobiography and trauma” and “gender and trauma.”

Please find below our general CFP, but do keep in mind the fact that we are at this point only looking for submissions on the two aforementioned topics.

Papers are expected to explore the connection between the performance of post-traumatic memory and urban space in the United States. Identifying the mechanisms of traumatic memory for various generations of trauma survivors has been an increasing focus of scholarship and public attention in recent decades, in the works of important scholars such as Mieke Bal, Shoshana Felman, Dominick La Capra, Marianne Hirsch, Leo Spitzer, Nancy K. Miller, Michael Rothberg, Cathy Caruth, and others. Marianne Hirsch’s concept of “postmemory” (1997) as a type of memory transmitted from generation to generation through family ties, responsibilities and storytelling, as well as Peggy Phelan's “performative memory” (1997), Dora Apel’s “secondary witnessing” (2002), Alison Landsberg’s “prosthetic memory” (2004) and Michael Rothberg’s “multidirectional memory” (2009) are all essential to current scholarly examinations of generations of (post)traumatic memory and their manifestation in a public space which is often that of the city. In the US, this research topic has regained momentum especially after the events of September 11. The area is rapidly growing, especially because mapping generations of traumatic memory lends itself to an extremely productive interdisciplinary framework, from psychology to literary, visual, ethnic and gender studies.

This volume is part of this particular conversation as it attempts to explore the innovative insights American Studies scholars can gain from analyzing particular features of cross-generational traumatic memories.
500-word abstracts and a short 150-word bio must be submitted before June 30, 2013, to Dana Mihailescu ( and Mihaela Precup ( Final papers of notified authors (7,000-9,000-word long, written in accordance with the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed.) will be due on August 31, 2013.
This is a collection of essays to be published by Dr. Roxana Oltean, Dr. Mihaela Precup, and Dr. Dana Mihailescu as part of a 3-year research project entitled Cross-Cultural Encounters in American Trauma Narratives: A Comparative Approach to Personal and Collective Memories.

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