Reminiscence and Creation: Art as Memory Work

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Art History Student Association at the University of Oregon
contact email: 


20th Annual University of Oregon Graduate Symposium in the History of Art & Architecture

Submissions Due: February 1, 2024

Symposium Date: April 12, 2024

Reminiscence and Creation: Art as Memory Work

What does it mean to make and break memories? Who do memories belong to? How do memories shape us and the field of art history more broadly? Because each of us has a unique relationship with memories, the way they materialize is bound to differ as well. Whereas some memories are collective, shaped by a shared narrative that manifests in numerous ways, others are more intimate, individual.

The 20th Annual University of Oregon Graduate Symposium in the History of Art and Architecture revisits its past topic on memory. This post-pandemic moment feels apt for contemplating our recent past, our land, our community, and our bodies, the connections between them that have already been made but which are also constantly in the process of being established. Our goal is to explore how memories are carried, changed, and lost and where tangible and intangible memories reside, how they are embodied and sustained. Additionally, we want to recognize that memories act as a connective tissue across space and time while also being unstable, open to reinterpretation by those who created the memories as well as those who inherited them. It is this porous quality of memories that prevents memory from being confined solely to the past, making it a viable tool for informing the future.

The symposium will explore the potential of memories and their connection to the history of art and adjacent fields, such as visual culture, material culture, anthropology, and cultural studies. It will call attention to the relationship between makers, art, and viewers. Papers may address topics including, but not limited to:


-       Memory and physical space (land, architecture, etc.)

-       Literate memory versus preliterate memory

-       Collective memory

-       Visual memory

-       Memory and the senses

-       Rituals and traditions

-       Interior spaces and memory (physical and emotional/psychological)

-       Time-based, site-specific, and performance art

-       Documentation, conservation, and records


Applicants should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, a paper title, and a current CV to The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2024. Selected speakers will be notified on February 15, 2024, and are expected to accept or decline the offer within one week of notification. Presentations should be 20 minutes in length and will be followed by a Question-and-Answer session.

The symposium will take place on Friday, April 12th, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, located on the University of Oregon campus.

This symposium is generously sponsored by the University of Oregon Department of the History of Art & Architecture and the University of Oregon Art History Student Association