MEMORIES: 7th Annual "Chiasmi" - Brown-Harvard Italian Studies Graduate Student Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Wuming Chang / Brown University
contact email: 

Chiasmi: BROWN-HARVARD Graduate Student Conference of Italian Studies

Brown University, 7-8 March 2014


Call for Papers

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Ruth Ben-Ghiat (NYU)

The year 2014 will commemorate two seminal events: it will mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, and the 70th anniversary of the apex of the Italian Resistance (1943-45) in World War II. On this special occasion, our conference will investigate memory in its manifold complexity in the Italian context.

Memory is a fundamental resource for human inquiry, central not only to the humanities, the social and natural sciences, but to life itself. Memories, however, are also sometimes manipulated, temporarily suspended or unintentionally modified.

We welcome proposals from all periods and disciplines, including those that seek to merge humanistic and scientific perspectives. Submission is open to graduate students and scholars of a similar level and beyond. Proposals may address, but are by no means limited to, the following topics and fields:

● Recollections and representations of wars and conflicts

● Competing accounts of a single text or event: tradition; interpretation and misinterpretation

● "Traces" of Italy in other cultures: linguistic, musical, artistic, gastronomic

● Immigration and emigration: remembering and renouncing the mother culture

● Collective memory, national identity, popular traditions, marginalized voices

● Official commemorations of the past: official history, monuments, pageants, rituals

● The canon; ancient or earlier traditions in modern culture

● How Italian and Italic vernaculars retain and reject elements of older languages

● Representations of the past and of memory itself in art and literature

● Techniques of memory in literature and art (analepsis, allusion, ekphrasis, etc)

● Genres and voices of narration (biography, autobiography, journalism, propaganda, etc)

● Materiality and memory: photography, oral history, history of the book, digital

memory (digital humanities); theatre and film; performance and recording

● Manipulated memories: revisionism, surveillance, censorship

● Psychoanalysis: repression, repetition, trauma, recovered memories, etc.

Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes (approximately 8-10 pages of double-spaced text) and may be either in Italian or English. Please send an anonymous abstract (no longer than 300 words) and a cover sheet with your paper title, name, affiliation, telephone, mailing and email address, and technical equipment needed for the presentation, as attachments to