International Conference: Transcultural Mobilities and Memories

University of Minho, Institute of Arts and Humanities,

Center for Humanistic Studies, Braga/Portugal

Date: 16-17 April 2020


For the last few years the research group on Transcultural Studies (NETCult), anchored at the Center for Humanistic Studies at the University of Minho (CEHUM) in Braga (Portugal), has paid special attention to the relationship between mobility and cultural memory. This interest is reflected in the organization of two international conferences, a first one in 2010 and a second one in 2015, resulting in two (multilingual) publications: Intercultural Mnemo-Graphies (eds. Matos & Gossegesse 2012) and Transcultural Amnesia. Mapping Displaced Memories (eds. Matos, Paisana, Esteves-Pereira 2016).

Seeking to provide a forum for the steadily growing interest in both Memory and Mobility Studies, we look forward to welcoming you to Braga for a two-day conference on “Transcultural Mobilities and Memories”.

Research on cultural memory has a long history dating back to the early twentieth century and is transdisciplinary in nature. It is a broad, evolving field that embraces manifold concepts such as ”collective memory” (Maurice Halbwachs), “sites of memory” (lieux de mémoire ,Pierre Nora), and “communicative memories” (Jan and Aleida Assmann). The third Memory Studies Association Conference in Madrid (25-28 June 2019, hosted by Complutense University) proves just how broad this expanding area of study is, with over 1,500 participants and an extremely varied programme.

Our overall framing, as our conference title suggests, is on movement in and between cultures and their intrinsic link with memory. We consider this conjugation to be important because in the past, and maybe even more so in the present, the mobility of individuals and groups, as well as the circulation of representations, concepts and practices has had/has a marked effect on cultural memory. Mobility, forced or unforced, affects cultures and the memory related to them in multiple ways. This phenomenon is central for several academic fields that study cultural memory in a diachronic and/or synchronic perspective (e. g. Holocaust studies, research on diasporas, economic migration, political refugees, tourism, etc.).

The so-called mobility turn began in the 1990s. The importance of studying “mobile worlds” and their multiple aspects, especially related to the formation, mediation and circulation of cultural memory, has been identified by scholars from several academic areas such as the anthropologist James Clifford (Routes. Travel and Translation in the late Twentieth Century, 1997), the sociologist John Urry (Mobilities, 2007) and the literary historian Stephen Greenblatt (Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, 2009). Recognizing that people, objects and ideas have been on the move for centuries, the “mobility turn” marked a change in how the several dimensions of mobility were viewed. With the most recent phase of globalization, the movement of people, things and ideas is on a massive scale; travel and tourism by individuals or groups for work or pleasure, forced and voluntary migrations for economic or social reasons are all increasingly impacted by media and mobile technologies.

Due to this omnipresent hypermobility, the conceptualization of cultural memory has also required new theoretical and methodological approaches to a memory which is ever more perceived as being in perpetual motion. More recently this (re)search and the awareness of the manifold dynamics of a “memory (…) that does not stay put but circulates, migrates, travels” (Bond, Craps, Vermeulen, 2017), have been grounded on terms such as “global memory” or the “cosmopolitanization of memory” (Beck, Levy, Sznaider, 2009), “multidirectional memory” (Rothberg, 2009), “transcultural memory” (Crownshaw, 2011), “traveling memory” (Erll) or “transnational memory” (De Cesari and Rigney, 2014). These recent concepts about memory allude in a more or less explicit way to what has been called the “transcultural turn” (Bond and Rapson eds., 2014), which understands mobility and memory as two main axes of the study of cultural processes in general.

By concentrating on the transcultural dimension of mobility within memory studies we acknowledge that movement in time and space, as well as the multiplicity of world views and their representation in diverse arts and media, shape and are shaped by cultural memory.

While welcoming contributions on other aspects, we especially invite papers discussing the following topics:

  •  Theories and methods concerning the link(s) between mobility and cultural memory;
  • Cultural memory in the context of forced/voluntary (im)mobility (refugees, exile, diaspora);
  • Post-colonial/subaltern mobility and cultural memory;
  • Travelling/tourism and cultural memory/heritage;
  • Transcultural/transnational sites of memory (memorials, myths, legends, etc.);
  • Representations of mobility and cultural memory in different arts (dance, film, literature, music, painting, etc.);
  • Gendered mobility and cultural memory;
  • Techniques of remembering and forgetting and their effects on the cultural memory of individuals or groups in transit (storytelling, analogical and digital recordings, travel sketch books and guides, etc.) ;
  • Technical/physical aspects of mobility (means of transport, routes, maps, etc.) and cultural memory;
  • Materiality of cultural memory and mobility (museums, world fairs/exhibitions, etc.).

In the case of individual papers, please submit abstracts between 200 and 300 words (references included) together with a title and 5 keywords, including name, institutional affiliation and contact details.

For pre-constituted panels, the conveners are asked to submit a panel proposal including the title, a 300- to 500-word justification for the panel and 200- to 300-word abstracts (references included) for each of the presentations making up the panel accompanied by a title and 5 keywords. Also included should be names and institutional affiliation for the three or four presenters and the name, institutional affiliation, contact details, and institutional affiliation for the chair.

Organisation: Institute of Arts and Humanities of the University of Minho (; Center for Humanistic Studies (CEHUM) (; NETCult – Researchteam on Transcultural Studies (

Guest speakers: Astrid Erll (Goethe Universität Frankfurt a.M.)

Emily Keightley (Loughborough University, UK)

Irene Flunser Pimentel (IHC – Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Luísa Afonso Soares (CEC – Universidade de Lisboa)

Organising and Scientific Committee coordinated by Mário Matos ( & Joanne Paisana (

The languages of communication are: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

[If the paper presentation is not in English, it should be supported by a PowerPoint or hand out in English.]

The paper proposals for presentations will be analyzed and selected by the scientific committee. At the end of the conference, a peer-reviewed selection of the texts will be made for publication (in English).


  • Proposal of presentations with title and abstract (200 to 300 words), including bionote (100 words): until 30 November 2019 by e-mail to:
  • Notification of acceptance: until 15 December 2019
  • Programme publication (online): until 31 March 2020
  • Conference registration (online): until 31 January 2020
  • Registration fee (incl. coffee breaks) 90 € (early bird: until 31 January 2020), 120 € (from 1 February 2019 until 15 March 2020)
  • Registration (for attendees without presentation) online 10€: until 15 March 2020 (Includes certificate of attendance)
  • CEHUM members and students from UMinho: free registration
  • Conference: 16 and 17 April 2020


NIB: 0035 0171 00167322630 15 [Caixa Geral de Depósitos]


IBAN: PT50 0035 0171 00167322630 15


*Please send a copy of the receipt by e-mail to Ms Ana Pereira ( Please include your full name, tax number and address.

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