IAAS Postgraduate Symposium - "Re-memory" and "Disremembering": The Role of Memory in the American Construct

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Irish Association for American Studies
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IAAS Postgraduate Symposium
Saturday 29th January 2011
Location: Clinton Institute for American Studies, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.
Call for Papers

"Re-memory" and "Disremembering": The Role of Memory in the American Construct

Memory, (both collective and individual), and memolialisation have an international legacy of shaping identity constructs, impacting upon reactionary politics and re-conceptualising history in accordance with changing social mores. In the United States, choosing what to preserve in collective and individual memory (and perhaps more significantly, what not to preserve and/or commemorate), map a national history of conflict and heroism, despair and hope, decline and renaissance. America's cultural memory has also been partly shaped by the idea of community. This is reflected in its diverse topography; the collective memory of the small town communities and subjective memory of the frantic, multicultural cities have each, in different ways, impacted on how America has come to define and understand itself. Remembering and choosing not to remember in the United States have, then, been instrumental in surviving trauma and in celebrating achievement, though the suggestion that the past can "infect" the present fosters a tendency to bury the darker aspects of America's remembrances.

Postgraduate students of all disciplines within the field of American Studies (including literature, film, history, geography, philosophy, visual arts, performance arts, new media, politics, sociology, cultural studies, ecology, law, economics, and international relations) are invited to submit proposals for 20-minute papers in the area of American studies, with possible topics including but not restricted to:

- (Re)-Constructing National Identity
- Conflict resolution
- Problems within (and without) of Cultural Diversity
- Representations of Gender
- Representations of Race
- Historical interpretation and Periodisation
- (Re)-Configuring America's Collective (Re)Memory
- American Exceptionalism
- The Hyphenated Identity

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be emailed to the IAAS Postgraduate Caucus Co-Chairs:
Louise Walsh (Clinton Institute for American Studies, UCD) and Kate Kirwan (University College Cork) at iaas.symposium@gmail.com
Please note that you must be a member of the IAAS to participate; see membership form attached.