Towards a Common Past? Conflicting memories in Contemporary Europe

Towards a Common Past? Conflicting memories in Contemporary Europe

Lund 14-16 May 2012

Call for papers” for the international conference organised by the NordForsk Memory Studies Network

The deadline for sending your abstract to the Workshop Chairs is 1 March 2012. Information on key note speakers and workshop themes is included in the attachment.

Since the 1980s Memory Studies have developed intensively as a creative, interdisciplinary and well-established field of research. Yet the field remains fragmented: national research environments tend to focus on representations of cultural memory within specific national contexts, and researchers coming from different disciplines are frequently holding on to their own theoretical and methodological approaches. We hope that the conference will generate discussions about the state of the art in Memory Studies as well as the future of the research in the field. How can we consolidate Memory Studies? What kind of new directions within the field we can identify today?

We would also like to involve you in the discussion on the idea of ‘European Memory’, what it is and how it relates to the memories of nations, regions, migrant communities and the world outside Europe. Drawing on recent theoretical insights pointing to the importance of memory migration and mediation, the influence of new media, changing cultural contexts, and memory as a source of transcultural ethics, the conference will explore how memory works as a transcultural and transnational force, mainly but not solely in Europe.

We welcome papers that aim to explore the tension between attempts by European cultural and political elites to create some form of common European memory or at least a unitary memory ethos on one hand and numerous ‘memory conflicts’, caused by divided and contested memories of oppression and violence on the other. Understanding the conflict­provoking potential of this memory legacy and exploring how it may be managed in a reconciliatory fashion constitute an acute challenge to interdisciplinary Memory Studies.

We are convinced that the future of Memory Studies lies in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary cooperation, however difficult such an endeavor might be. Hence we warmly welcome to our conference scholars from different disciplines – the humanities, political and social sciences (including psychology and communication studies), history, etc.

Keynote speakers for this three-day conference include

Claus Leggewie – Professor of Political Science at Justus-Liebig University Giessen Daniel Levy – Associate Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University

Leyla Neyzi, Professor of Social Anthropology, Sabanci University in Istanbul

Jeffrey Olick, Professor of Sociology at University of Virginia

James E. Young, Professor of English and Judaic Studies at University of Massachusetts

The papers at the conference will be presented and discussed in thematic workshops. If you are interested in participating in one or more of the following workshops please contact the chair of the workshop directly (see the contact details below). If you are not sure which workshop is most suitable for your paper please send a short abstract to the coordinator for suggestions. A selection of the papers presented at the conference will be subsequently published.


1) Remembering forced migrations and ethnic cleansings in Europe (Chair:
2) Memory and Place in European Cities (Chair:
Memory, Emotions and Politics (Chair:
Asymmetric memories in Europe (chair:
5) Transnational cultural memory (chair:
6) Remediating memory (chair:
7) Memory and Literary Representation (Chair:
Nordic realms of memory (Chair:
9) Memory in News Media (Chair:


The deadline for submitting your abstract to a Workshop Chair (with a copy to the conference coordinator is March 1, 2012.

We look forward to seeing you in Lund in 2012. Please notice that no conference fee is required.

Conference Chair: Barbara Törnquist-Plewa (e-mail: Barbara.Tornquist­

Conference Coordinator: Niklas Bernsand (e-mail :

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