The University of Virginia/Memory Studies Association Graduate Seminar

The Memory Studies Association is pleased to announce the second installment of the University of Virginia/Memory Studies Association Graduate Seminar. First offered last year, the seminar provides an introduction to memory studies to an equal number of graduate students from the University of Virginia and other universities around the world. The purpose is to bring together excellent students from the widest possible disciplinary and national backgrounds to create a cohort of younger scholars, help them become conversant in the basic concepts of memory studies, and to allow them to enter into dialogue with prominent figures in the field through a robust schedule of guest lectures/discussions. The seminar will cover foundational issues for memory studies, including the history of the field, the relations between individual and collective memory (and the interrelations of material, psychological, social, and cultural processes); the relationship between history and memory; the statics and dynamics of historical memory; media and memory; commemorative forms; and the politics of memory, among other issues.

The seminar will be led by Prof. Jeffrey Olick, co-president of the MSA and Professor of Sociology and History at the University of Virginia, and will run according to the regular academic calendar of the University of Virginia in Fall semester 2021, for fourteen weeks beginning Monday, August 30 and ending Monday, Dec. 7. The seminar will meet Mondays from 10am to 12:30 pm Eastern US time, in person for students at UVa and via Zoom for everyone else, though it will also include pre-recorded elements and ad hoc meetings with guests, potentially at other times (though always recorded for later viewing). Participants will be offered sponsored membership in the Memory Studies Association, and will be encouraged to participate in its initiatives, particularly the dMSA (digital MSA), working groups, and annual meeting.

Applications are welcome from any registered Ph.D. student from an accredited university, regardless of whether near the beginning of their program or nearing completion. Applications are welcome from any disciplinary background with a relevance to or interest in memory studies, including, but not limited to, sociology, anthropology, literary studies, philosophy, political science, international relations, art history, religious studies, psychology, history, media studies, and the like. The language of the seminar will be English, though effort will be made to help in the search for relevant readings and materials in other languages, as well as to help students connect with established scholars working in their language.

To Apply: Please send a letter of application of no more than one page to using “Seminar Application” in the subject line. In your letter, please describe your university affiliation and status, disciplinary background and interests, your reasons for wanting to take the seminar, and affirm your commitment to participating vigorously and fully, according to the stated schedule. Where possible, you may be able to receive academic credit in your home institution for your participation; all students who complete the seminar will receive a certificate from the MSA, documenting their participation. Rolling review/admission of applications will begin Friday, August 6. There will be approximately 8-10 spaces for remote students.