Memory in a Digital Age

deadline for submissions: 
July 3, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Centre for Memory Studies, IIT Madras

Centre for Memory Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
International Conference in Memory Studies

Memory in a Digital Age 
23-25 August 2022

Memory may variously be defined and described as a condition, an activity, and a form of instrumentality that is shaped by neural, material, and discursive designs. An interplay of remembering and forgetting, encoding and erasure, memory is as much about re-creating the past as about forging the future, with meaningful and sometimes manipulative models of information and imagination. Deeply and complexly connected to broader activities in the sociocultural realm such as politics, medicine, identity, and ideology, memory is an ontological as well as an experiential state, informed by investments which are emotional and affective while also being material and scientific in quality. Emergent as well as connective, the experience and the apparatus of memory have always established rich and sometimes problematic resonances with how subjects and collectives collect, calibrate, and curate knowledge and narratives. The machines of memory have historically evolved with cultural instruments, from the wax tablets to iPads, from folklore to engines of artificial intelligence. The embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended qualities of memory thus lend themselves to existential states as well as discourse networks, to lived realities as well as to collective fantasies. This is perhaps more problematic than ever in the digital age where images and data can be doctored as well as deathless, where the ontology of truth and reality is shaped by simulation and amplification, often bordering on contested terrains of episteme and experience. How we remember and forget in the digital and post-digital age may largely be seen as shaped by technologic functions, whereby the human-machine interface becomes the convergence-divergence loop where encoding and erasure take place asymmetrically and sometimes simultaneously.

This conference – under the aegis of the Centre for Memory Studies IIT Madras – hopes to offer an interdisciplinary platform for researchers and scholars in memory studies in order to examine the matter, mode, and medium of memory in the digital age. It aims to generate a dialogic and ideational interchange between academia and technology-industry, revisiting the textuality of knowledge, memory, and cultural identities as well as foregrounding ways in which such epistemological frameworks may be re-created and re-presented with scientific systems that offer more complex and refractive understanding of reality, heritage, and history. The conference will hope to underline how the synaptic quality of memory and encoding is not only the process in which human nerves remember and forget information and experiences but also has interesting parallels with how cultural and scientific engines navigate with narratives and knowledge, especially with technological tools that are increasingly fluid and accessible. To this end, the conference invites interventions on topics including but not limited to:

• Memory and affect
• Memory and archive
• Memory and connectivity
• Memory and discourse networks
• Memory and erasure
• Memory and medical science
• Memory and marginality
• Memory and mobility
• Memory and mutability
• Memory and simulation
• Memory and textuality
• Memory and transmission

Abstracts of 250 words, along with brief bio-notes may be sent to by 3 July 2022. The conference will be conducted in hybrid mode, with both online and offline sessions.

Important Dates:
Deadline for abstract submission: 3 July 2022
Abstract selection notification: 10 July 2022
Deadline for registration: 17 July 2022
Conference Dates: 23-25 August 2022

Faculty Coordinators
Dr Avishek Parui & Dr Merin Simi Raj, IIT Madras