Postmemory and the Contemporary World

Registration deadline
Venue: Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellin, Circular 1 No. 70-01, Medellín, COLOMBIA, Barrio Laureles

Coined by Marianne Hirsch in the 1990s the term Postmemory by now entered various disciplines who search to understand how memory form our identity and of how we position, articulate or just make sense of our place in the society and our relations with it. The term Postmemory problematizes the concept of memory by bringing attention to the memories that are not exactly personal but that keep on shaping one’s life and one’s way of seeing the world.
In the previous editions of our memory conference, which brought together more than four hundred scholars from around the world, we looked at the relationship between memory and solidarity (“Solidarity, Memory and Identity”, 2012 and 2016), memory and dreams (“Dreams, Phantasms and Memories”, 2013), memory and forgetting (“Memory: Forgetting and Creating”, 2014), memory and nostalgia (Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia, 2015) as well as memory and trauma (“Memory, Trauma and Recovery”, 2016). This conference we would like to concentrate on the phenomena of Postmemory and how it keeps on shaping the contemporary world.
We are interested in all aspects of Postmemory: in its individual and collective dimensions, in the past and the present-day world and in its potential to direct the future. Whose memory is Postmemory: that of generations, communities, nations or families? How is it maintained and passed on? What is the role of imagination in its creation? What is remembered and what is forgotten? Is it always the memory of traumatic experience? How can it be taught and studied? are some of the questions that inspired the idea of the conference.
Medellín, Colombia, has been chosen as a place for this conference not by chance. Colombia is the country of the troubled past that quite successfully has been processing it on its way of recovery. The conference wants to establish and promote a dialogue between scholars, countries and continents, therefore, inviting papers of different geographic and cultural focus.
We would like to explore the phenomenon of postmemory in its multifarious manifestations: psychological, social, historical, cultural, philosophical, religious, economic, political, and many others. As usual, we also want to devote considerable attention to how these phenomenon appears in artistic practices: literature, film, theatre or visual arts. That is why we invite researchers representing various academic disciplines: anthropology, history, psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, politics, philosophy, economics, law, history of literature, theatre studies, film studies, design, project management, memory studies, migration studies, consciousness studies, dream studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, medical sciences, cognitive sciences, and urban studies, to name a few.
Different forms of presentations are encouraged, including case studies, theoretical inquiries, problem-oriented arguments or comparative analyses.
We will be happy to hear from both experienced scholars and young academics at the start of their careers, as well as doctoral and graduate students.
We also invite all persons interested in participating in the conference as listeners, without giving a presentation.
Our repertoire of suggested topics includes but is not restricted to:
I. Individual experiences
• Postmemory and trauma
• Postmemory and recovery
• Postmemory and imagination
• Postmemory and artefacts
• Dreams of postmemory
• Postmemory and personal memories

II. Collective experiences
• Postmemory and its sources
• Postmemory and mythology
• Generational Postmemory
• Postmemory and social non-acceptance
• Postmemory and solidarity
• Postmemory and territory

III. Remembering and Forgetting
• Postmemory and forced forgetting
• Postmemory and forced remembering
• Teaching postmemory
• Negotiating postmemory
• Studying postmemory
• Forgetting/remembering for recovery
• Postmemory and its purpose
• Postmemory and allegiances

IV. Representations
• Testimonies and memories
• Genres of Postmemory
• Postmemory in literature
• Postmemory in film
• Postmemory in theatre
• Postmemory in visual arts
• Creating as experience
• Postmemory and urban planning
• Postmemory and urban art
• Rural Postmemory
• Postmemory in the nature
• Materialism of Postmemory
• Nonhuman postmemory

V. Feelings and Practices
• Sadness of postmemory
• Fear of postmemory
• Postmemory and nostalgia
• Postmemory and grief
• Postmemory and weariness
• Postmemory and loneliness
• Postmemory and change
• Living Postmemory
• Rituals of Postmemory

VI. Institutionalization
• Postmemory and nation-state
• Postmemory and identity politics
• Postmemory and ideology
• Postmemory and religion
• Postmemory and punishment systems
• Postmemory and army
• Postmemory and school
• Postmemory and museums
• Monuments of Postmemory
• Sites and cities of postmemory
• Economy of Postmemory
• Language of Postmemory

VII. The Contemporary World
• Postmemory and postcomunism
• Postcolonialism, decolonization and Postmemory
• Neoliberalism and Postmemory
• Postmemory and migration
• Postmemory and forced migration
• Postmemory and globalization
• Postmemory and nationalism
• Postmemory and new media
• Postmemory and political correctness
• Postmemory and natural disasters

VIII. Colombia: peace process
• Memory of the generations
• Artistic practices of memory
• Possibilities for comparison: Latin America and Central Eastern Europe
• Forgiveness as remembering

Please submit abstracts (no longer than 300 words) of your proposed 20-minute presentations, together with a short biographical note, by 28 February 2017 both to
Prof. Wojciech Owczarski (University of Gdańsk):
Prof. Polina Golovatina-Mora (Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana):

Confirmation of acceptance will be sent by 1 March 2017.

The conference language is English, while Spanish abstracts will be considered.

University of Gdańsk, Poland

Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Colombia

InMind Support, Poland
Contact person
Wojciech Owczarski; Polina Golovatina-Mora