Animation and Memory

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Radboud University

Animation and Memory

International Conference at Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands, 22-23 June 2017

Confirmed keynote speakers

  • Professor Suzanne Buchan, Middlesex University London
  • Dr. Annabelle Honess Roe, University of Surrey

Invited artist

  • Ülo Pikkov, animator and PhD candidate at the Estonian Academy of Arts

Call for Papers

The past thirty years have witnessed the emergence of memory studies as a field that has yielded a rich body of research into practices of remembering and forgetting in art, popular culture, and everyday life. While live action cinema and documentary films have been studied extensively, the interrelation between animation and memory has so far received much less attention. This lacuna in scholarship is particularly pertinent in light of the increasing number of animation films dealing with various forms, methods, and contexts of remembering and forgetting.

Our conference seeks to address this lacuna. We use the word animation in the broadest possible sense, from stop motion to computer animation and gif files, from cell animated cartoons to painted animation. Cognizant of the medium’s inherent differences from (as well as similarities to) live action cinema, we are particularly interested in the ways in which animation can operate as a medium and a technology of memory and forgetting.

The main questions we will explore are as follows: How do animation films bring forth personal and collective pasts, as well as traumatic, repressed or tabooed memories? What role does the materiality (or immateriality) of the medium play in representing the past and processes of remembering and forgetting? What is the role of found footage, objects, and sound in animation? What role does animation play in disseminating information about the past and how does it serve political ends?

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers, as well as three-paper panels. Although the conference focuses on animation and memory in a broad sense, we especially seek contributions that address animation in relation to:

  • documentary
  • reenactment
  • recollection
  • adaptation
  • the archive
  • aide mémoire
  • lieux de mémoire
  • communicative / cultural memory
  • postmemory
  • multidirectional memory
  • prosthetic memory
  • performances of memory
  • real and imagined pasts
  • commemoration, memorials and monuments
  • personal and collective traumas
  • forgetting and amnesia
  • found footage / objects
  • tabooed and repressed memories
  • affect, nostalgia and melancholia
  • materiality and new materialism(s)
  • worldmaking
  • theories of memory studies
  • the history of the medium
  • museums, exhibitions, education
  • miniaturization and enlargement
  • festivals and distribution of films


Please send an abstract of about 250 words and a bio of 100 words to the organizers at by February 15, 2017.

Conference website:

Selected papers will be considered for publication.

Conference committee

Maarten van Gageldonk, László Munteán, Ali Shobeiri, Cansu Soyupak, Josette Wolthuis