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Call for papers: Equinoxes 2017 at Brown University

Modified: January 24, 2017

April 21-22, 2017 | Brown University | Providence, Rhode Island
Keynote: Odile Cazenave
Professor of French, Boston University

Memory is a deceptively simple concept, seemingly universal in its experiential familiarity, yet handled in a diverse variety of ways by writers and theorists across literary, philosophical, psychological, and historical fields. We are at once aware of memory’s essential role in perception and identity, and of its glaring instabilities, gaps, and (mis)appropriations—its often violent ruptures. Equinoxes 2017 aims to highlight and explore the notion of memory as it plays out in French and Francophone contexts and corresponding cultural productions.

From Lumières theories of selfhood as a continuity of consciousness, to more modern questions of psychoanalysis, repression, and trauma theory, the modes and mechanisms of remembering—or failing to remember—are critical to individual identity construction. At the same time, memory is collective as well as individual: historical narratives, national identities, and traditional cultural practices are all constitutive of, and predicated upon, acts of remembrance (as well as national acts of conscious and unconscious forgetting). How do personal and public memory intersect, and what is the interplay between their respective lacunae? How can art and language recreate lived personal or historical moments? How do commemoration, narration, and canonization affect the ways that we remember, and the gaps in those memories? What is at stake in the interaction between dominant and subaltern modes of memorialization? And how do public discourses of memory appropriate and complicate individual relationships to events?

As an interdisciplinary conference, Equinoxes encourages submissions from a variety of fields including but not limited to history, ethnography, anthropology, literature, media studies, sociology, art history, and political science, provided that the presentation relate to French or Francophone spheres.

Graduate students who wish to participate in the conference should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words. Abstracts must be sent, as attachments, to brown.equinoxes@gmail.com before February 15, 2017. Emails should include the author's name, institutional affiliation, and contact information. Presentations, whether in English or in French, should not exceed 20 minutes. Visit the website for more information.

Humanities, Social Sciences, Professional Development