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Conference: Interdisciplinary Memory Studies Conference, Athens, 9-10 November 2012‏

The Interdisciplinary Memory Studies Conference

Memory, Peace and Security
9 Nov - 10 Nov 2012

To be held at the University of Indianapolis, in Athens, Greece

There used to be a difference between memory and history, and journalism happened to lie in between them. It seemed to translate memory into a pool of news validated as possible entries into the canvas of history. Today, new media challenge classic journalism and offer the chance to every citizen to publish snapshots of every day life as news. The accumulation of information open to any audiences in the form of articles that bridge personal memories is challenging the notion of history itself. However, the past continues to be departing from us: today more than ever news becomes old news in a matter of minutes, and memory is the most powerful ally of civic journalism - journalism for the public. What is more, memory's inherent selectivity means that for every narrative, representation, image, or sound evoking the past, there is another that has become silent--deliberately forgotten, carelessly omitted, or simply neglected. The tension between the loud past of official histo
ry and those forgotten pasts we strain to hear, as expressed via new media, is addressed in many disciplines. For those in the field of memory studies, the tension between memory as private, personal, and the spectacle of official history is especially poignant. This tension illuminates what has been selected for remembering and why, allows for alternative memories and understandings to emerge, and speaks to several disciplines on a particular note.

The interplay of memory, journalism, and new media raises a number of pressing questions that are increasingly important for future studies of memory, as well as human security and peace processes. Are we in the wake of history as once conceived? Is history becoming polyphonic due to the advent of the era of memory? How must our understanding of the present and future be, in relation to the past? How is every act of remembering and forgetting shaped today? Where is journalism located in the spectrum between memory and history? How are peace and security supported by a democratic representation of the history and memory of minorities?

We invite scholars from different disciplines to address one, or more, of the following questions, and gather in a common effort to exchange points of view and clarify the present state of the art in Memory Studies from a synergistic perspective:

*What is the role of new media in the creation of history today?
*How does journalism evolve today?
*Whose memories are silenced and suppressed (and by whom)?
*How do forms of remembering in new media work?
*How does memory relate to peace?
*What is the relationship of memory to "truth"?
*What emotions do feed memory?
*Is memory instrumental in the creation of a safe society?
*What happens when memories long silenced are "heard" again?
*Does journalism truly help to "hearing" the past?
*What kind of knowledge is journalism?
*What sources of "evidence" of the past are the most legitimate today? Why?
*What power does the visual have on us in relation to history?
*How many histories are there?
*What can the visual hide; what is unspoken?

Please send an abstract, with title, of no longer than 250 words and a short bio (200 words) including institutional affiliation, with "2012 ABSTRACT" in the subject line to Ms Romana Turina, Conference Coordinator, by March 30, 2012 (<> or<> ).

Decisions will be made by mid-April 2012.

For information on the conference and our other activities, visit

--Amy Garey
PhD student
Department of Anthropology
University of California-Los Angeles
Listserv Editor
Soyuz: the Research Network for Post-Socialist Cultural Studies