For the third edition of its annual summer school, the Mnemonics network, an international collaborative initiative for graduate education in memory studies, invites paper proposals that address the relations between media and cultural memory.
The study of cultural memory is increasingly focusing on the often conflicting, overlapping, fractured, flexible, and dynamic nature of processes of remembrance. This emphasis on the mobility of memory makes the study of the media of memory an urgent task; as memories of the past are always constructed in ongoing processes of remediation, they are subject to the possibilities and constraints of medial carriers. The archiving of vast amounts of data is, for instance, impossible in oral cultures; television and photography, for their part, have enabled more visceral modes of connectedness, while the increased retrievability of the past in a digital age has paradoxically also inspired forms of public amnesia. Questions about media of memory have become all the more urgent through the rise of digital media, which has enabled media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to generate transnational as well as vernacular memory communities.
The summer school welcomes paper proposals that explore the interface of media and memory. Possible topics include, but are emphatically not restricted to:
- How do particular older as well as newer media serve as memory agents—as cues, catalysts, storage media?
- What novel forms of memory community and agency do new media make possible?
- How do particular media constrain communities’ abilities to remember and forget?
- What is the division of labor between different local and global media?
- How do new media affect issues surrounding the control, the unequal accessibility, and the ownership of memory?
- How does the study of memory respond to recent medial developments? What is the role of, for instance, digital humanities in this new research context?
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Marianne Hirsch is William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She was President of the Modern Language Association of America in 2013. Her recent books include The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture after the Holocaust (Columbia, 2012), Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory, co-authored with Leo Spitzer (University of California Press, 2010), and Rites of Return: Diaspora Poetics and the Politics of Memory, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller (Columbia, 2011).
Jussi Parikka is a Finnish media theorist and writer, who works as a Reader in Media & Design at Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton). He is the author of Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses (2007), Insect Media: An Archaeology of Animals and Technology (2010), and What is Media Archaeology? (2012). Parikka is also Adjunct Professor in Digital Culture Theory at the University of Turku, Finland and Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.
José van Dijck is a Professor of Comparative Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, where she served as Dean of Humanities from 2008 to 2011. Currently a distinguished visiting professor at the Annenberg School for Communication in Philadelphia, she is the author of, among others, Mediated Memories in the Digital Age (Stanford, 2007) and The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media (Oxford, 2013).
The Mnemonics summer school serves as an interactive forum in which junior and senior memory scholars meet in an informal and convivial setting to discuss each other’s work and to reflect on new developments in the field of memory studies. The objective is to help graduate students refine their research questions, strengthen the methodological and theoretical underpinnings of their projects, and gain further insight into current trends in memory scholarship.
Each of the three days of the summer school will start with a keynote lecture, followed by sessions consisting of three graduate student papers, responses, and extensive Q&A. In order to foster incisive and targeted feedback, all accepted papers will be precirculated among the participants and each presentation session will be chaired by a senior scholar who will also act as respondent.
Stockholm, Sweden. The summer school will be held on Stockholm University’s Frescati campus, which is only a 9-minute metro trip away from the city center. The hostel where you will be staying is only a 3-minute metro trip away from Stockholm’s central station, which is directly accessible by train or bus from Arlanda airport (ARN), and by bus from Bromma airport (BMA).
21-23 August 2014
SEK 600/70 euros, payable upon acceptance of paper proposal
Attendance; hostel accommodation for three nights in the city center; all breakfasts, lunches, refreshments, and one dinner
A 300-word abstract for a 15-minute paper (including title, presenter’s name, and institutional affiliation), a description of your graduate research project (one paragraph), and a short CV (max. one page) as a single Word document to mnemonics [at] english [dot] su [dot] se.
1 April 2014
Notification of Acceptance
1 May 2014
Deadline for Submission of Paper Drafts
1 August 2014
Number of Places
24, 18 of which are reserved for the partner institutions
The Stockholm event is organized by participants of the Nordic Network of Cultural Memory, based at Linköping University; the research program “Time, Memory, and Representation,” based at Södertörn (histcon.se); and Stockholm University’s English Department (www.english.su.se). Together, they serve as the Swedish partner in Mnemonics.