MEMORY IN TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY MALAYSIA: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES FROM THE ARTS, HUMANTIES, AND THE SCIENCES

full name / name of organization: 
Kebangsaan University Malaysia, The Memory Network and the University of Roehampton, UK
contact email: 
ruzy@ukm.my ; memorynetwork@roehampton.ac.uk

Since the mid-eighties, Malaysia’s rapid economic growth has triggered enormous socio-economic and cultural changes, and this transformation has led to pressing questions about the changing nature of the country and the lives of its citizens, as well as the state of local and national history, identity and cultural memory and heritage. We have seen radical changes in, for instance, patterns of food consumption (leading to health issues such as obesity), in new forms of transportation, urban planning and architecture altering the structure of feeling of the country and its capital, and in the radical renegotiation of the nature-city balance. We have also seen the conscious negligence of Malaysia’s colonial history, and paradoxically, the continuation of colonialist approaches to early settlers. One particularly fruitful way of approaching these changes is through the creation of a multiperspectival ‘psychogeography’ of Malaysia, which Guy Debord defined as ‘the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not, on the emotion and behaviour of individuals.’ Ranging from reflections on changing food consumption and taste to a deconstruction of the tourist gaze invited by Malaysia, and from analyses of the KL’s changing multicultural landscape to representations of Malaysia in post-war writing, this conference proposes to be the start of a comprehensive interdisiplinary mapping of a country in transition from a multiplicity of critical-creative perspectives. What is as stake is, and therefore central to our investigation, memory, both at the level of the individual, subjective self as well as collective and cultural memory. This conference offers exciting possibilities for the international dissemination and exchange of knowledge and research across cultural borders and academic disciplines. Invited speakers include:

TASH AW (Novelist)
PROFESSOR ASIFA MAJID (PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, RADBOUD UNIVERSITY, NETHERLANDS)
DR GAIK CHENG KHOO (SCHOOL OF CULTURES, LANGUAGES AND AREA STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM CAMPUS, MALAYSIA)
DR SEBASTIAN GROES (ENGLISH LITERATURE, UNIVERSITY OF ROEHAMPTON, UK)
PAUL ANTICK (PHOTOGRAPHY, UNIVERSITY OF ROEHAMPTON, UK)
DR SEAN MATTHEWS (SCHOOL OF CULTURES, LANGUAGES AND AREA STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM CAMPUS, MALAYSIA)

We are keen to invite papers from all academic disciplines.

For further information or to submit a proposal for a twenty-minute paper, please see the websites http://www.ukm.my/ppbl/3L/3LHome.html or www.thememorynetwork.net or send an email to Nick Lavery at memorynetwork@roehampton.ac.uk

cfp categories: 
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
ethnicity_and_national_identity
gender_studies_and_sexuality
humanities_computing_and_the_internet
interdisciplinary
popular_culture
postcolonial
science_and_culture
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond