This conference aims to explore how memories travel through the aesthetic medium of literature and are translated into new local communities of remembering. The conference concentrates on the travelling of memories (Erll 2011) within or into the cultural, geographical and symbolic boundaries of Europe, perhaps fostering new knowledge and attention to events that are otherwise marginalized in a Westernized perspective on the European past and identity.
According to Ann Rigney and Astrid Erll (2009), fictional literature is a significant medium of cultural memory that have the ability of “sparking public debates on historical topics that had hitherto been marginalized or forgotten.” This conference looks at transcultural memory formations that are generated 1) by the mobility of people across or into Europe and 2) by the production of “transcultural memorial forms” (Laanes 2021) that translate experiences to other geographic arenas.
According to Erll (2011), migrants can be seen as carriers of memory understood as “individuals who share in collective images and narratives of the past”. By expressing their mnemonic displacement – that is their disorientation in the mnemonic framework of their host country together with their contrasting memories – migrant literature contributes to setting the agenda for future collective remembrance. This conference shall explore how this activity, which we would like to think of as mnemonic migration speaks to the (re)construction of shared memories in Europe or its countries and regions. Furthermore, we are interested in questioning which “transcultural memorial forms” may be used to “culturally translate experiences in order to make them known and intelligible to others” thus making memories travel (Laanes 2021).
Crucially, the successful travelling of memories depends on reception by members of a mnemonic community. Therefore, this conference is also concerned with the reception and recirculation of transcultural memories, asking if novels due to the “transformative power of the arts and their capacity to mobilize individuals through imagination and affect” (Rigney 2014), may forge what Alison Landsberg (2004) has called prosthetic memory, that is, a deep-felt and emphatic connection to events one has not lived through. We are keen to explore how mediations of memory circulate, how they are received, and if and how they may develop into what we could think of as prosthetic memories in various European contexts, perhaps contributing to new memory canons within Europe.
We welcome papers that consider, but are not limited to, any of the following issues:
- Memory literature by authors who have migrated to or within Europe
- Reception and prosthetic memory
- World literature of memory in a European perspective
- Travelling memory
- Methodological considerations on studying transcultural memory in literature
- Methodological considerations on studying circulation, reception and prosthetic memory
Please send an abstract of 300 words and a short bio of 150 words to Jessica Ortner (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 26th September 2021.
We look forward to receiving your proposals!
Eneken Laanes, Tea Sindbæk Andersen & Jessica Ortner