- What social practices and networks bring (and have historically brought) memory to life (or fail to do so)?
- How are media of memory socially framed and reframed?
- How can we study the social reception of media of memory (e.g. via discursive remembering, in interpretive communities, by historical audiences etc.) ?
- What are the social dynamics of memory-translation (the ‘cultural translation’ of memories, but also ‘literal translations’ of memory texts)?
- Which performances express and foster the social life of memory, or inhibit it?
- How do memory objects ‘travel’, what are their trajectories (or mnemonic ‘object biographies’)?
- What are the economics and politics of mnemonic objects (in the sense of Appadurai’s ‘social life of things’)?
- How do space and movement influence the social life of memory?
- How does time factor in the social life of memory (when do memories emerge, circulate or become inert)?
- How does politics enable or interfere with the social life of memory?
- What types of ‘social life’ can we distinguish (lives as ‘monumental memory’, as ‘countermemory’, ‘agonistic lives’ etc.)?
- How can we critically assess the logic of the metaphor of ‘social life’ (and its possible religious, biologistic etc. overtones) and find concepts that fine-tune, substitute or complement it?
Aleida Assmann is Professor emeritus in English Literature at the University of Konstanz. She has been Visiting Professor at Princeton (2001), Yale (2002, 2003 and 2005) as well as other universities and has received numerous prizes. Among her recent publications in the field of memory studies are Formen des Vergessens (Wallstein, 2016), Shadows of Trauma: Memory and the Politics of Postwar Identity (Fordham University Press, 2015) and Das neue Unbehagen an der Erinnerungskultur: Eine Intervention (C. H. Beck, 2013). An important earlier contribution to the field of memory studies, Erinnerungsräume: Formen und Wandlungen des kulturellen Gedächtnisses (C. H. Beck, 1999), has also been translated into English, as Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
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. Participants are expected to be in attendance for the full three days of the summer school. In order to foster incisive and targeted feedback, all accepted papers will be pre-circulated among the participants and each presentation session will be chaired by a senior scholar who will also act as respondent.
Local organizers: Mnemonics 2017 will be hosted by the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform, which is an initiative of the Frankfurt Humanities Research Centre. Both are located at Goethe University Frankfurt. Organizers are Astrid Erll, professor at the Institute for England and America Studies at Goethe University, Erin Högerle and Jarula M. I. Wegner, PhD candidates on the DFG research project “Migration and Transcultural Memory: Literature, Film the ‘Social Life’ of Memory Media”.
Where: Campus Westend of Goethe University Frankfurt, located in Frankfurt Westend and easily accessible by car, train (Frankfurt central station) or airplane (Frankfurt Airport, FRA).
When: September 7-9, 2017
Scholarship: Memory studies is an increasingly global field, and we hope to see this reflected in the composition of the participant group. We therefore encourage graduate students based at non-European institutions, particularly in the Global South, to apply for admission to the summer school. In order to facilitate their participation, Frankfurt offers one scholarship for a fully-funded place at the summer school. Awarded on the basis of both merit and need, it covers all travel expenses, hotel costs, a daily allowance, the conference fee and visa assistance. If you want to be considered for this scholarship, please indicate this in your application, include a budget estimate and disclose any other sources of funding.
Send: 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 or PDF document to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: March 31, 2017
Notification of acceptance: May 15, 2017
Deadline for submission of paper drafts: August 15, 2017
Questions? Write to email@example.com
Mnemonics homepage: http://www.mnemonics.ugent.be/
Mnemonics on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/mnemonics.network/
Mnemonics on Twitter: @mnemonics_net
Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform homepage: http://www.memorystudies-frankfurt.com/
Frankfurt Humanities Research Centre homepage: http://fzhg.org/
Appadurai, Arjun. The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1986.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.
Benjamin, Walter. “The Task of the Translator: An Introduction to the Translation of Baudelaire’s Tableaux parisiens.” 1923. Reprint. Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968. 69-82.
Erll, Astrid and Stephanie Wodianka, eds. Film und kulturelle Erinnerung. Plurimediale Konstellationen. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2008.
Nelson, Alondra. The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation after the Genome. Boston: Beacon Press, 2016.
Rigney, Ann. The Afterlives of Walter Scot: Memory on The Move. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012.
Warburg, Aby. The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity: Contributions to the Cultural History of the European Renaissance. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 1999.