The Economies of Future Past: Redefining the Space(s) of (Post)Memory - March 13 and 14, 2014

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English Graduate Students' Society at Université de Montréal
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Deadline: January 6, 2014.

In a world of instant news updates, Wikipedia, and Twitter, memory seems a thing of the past. This instantaneity shapes the way we consider knowledge. In recent years, the rise of digital technology and communication has generated debates around global movements and this has shaped the way the past is recuperated into historical memory. The recent turn to archival memory in both theoretical discourses and artistic practices suggests a need to develop a new set of conceptual, literary, and aesthetic tools with which to understand, interpret, and problematize notions of the past and of memory.

And what of "postmemory" (to use Marianne Hirsch's term), where the "generation after" bears the personal, collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before? This postmemory speaks to the relationship of experiences we "remember" only by means of the stories, images, and behaviours among which we did or did not grow up. On a more personal basis, we document our daily lives and our social interactions through social media, resulting in a global library of sorts available for all to consult.

Beyond simply participating in this process, we are looking to investigate the space between the experience of the memory and its factual elements. How does the immediacy or spontaneity of our relationship to the here and now shape our consideration of the past? From a temporal perspective, how has our understanding of memory as a historical and social artefact changed? How do we (re)construct memory when we have no direct connection to the relevant historical event? How is memory articulated as literature? In other words, how do our redefinitions of memory reconceptualise forms of literature?

We invite submissions in English and French from graduate students for individual presentations, panels, and creative projects addressing the concept of (post)memory from any disciplinary perspective. Topics may include:

• Representations of (post)memory in literature, performance, film, television, music, visual arts
• Aesthetics of (post)memory
• Memoirs, testimony, and biography
• Journals and travel narratives
• Immigrant and minority narratives
• Digital Humanities and the archives
• Oral traditions and modes of transmission of knowledge
• Nostalgia, memorial, and remembrance
• History and temporality
• Spatial narratives
• Reconciliation and social change
• Ideological appropriations of the past
• Political violence and trauma theory
• Translation theory
• Ruins and urban decay

Please send your 350-word abstract, accompanied by a brief academic biography (of 100 words), to by January 6, 2014. More conference details TBA.