International Conference at the University of Minho, Braga/Portugal
April, 16 to 18, 2015
Transcultural Amnesia: Mapping Displaced Memories
Throughout history transcultural mobility has been a constant phenomenon. In fact, in the long run no culture can survive without inter-cultural contacts. Thus, any cultural concept based on fantasized purist visions must be abandoned in favour of seeing cultures as consequences of transitory and complex processes of intermixing and hybridization. To do this, an effort must be made to "listen to a wide range of ‘travel stories’” (not ‘travel literature’ in the bourgeois sense)”, as James Clifford puts it in his famous book Routes. Travel and Translation in the late Twentieth Century (1997). Therefore, according to Stephen Greenblatt in Cultural Mobility A Manifesto, from 2010, to "write convincing and accurate cultural analysis - not only of the troubled present but of centuries past – (…) we need to understand colonization, exile, emigration, wandering, contamination" and its complex consequences, because "it is these disruptive forces that principally shape the history and diffusion of identity (...), and not a rooted sense of cultural legitimacy."
Despite the evident long history of cultural intersections and inseminations, cultures continue not to be generally understood as mobile or global but rather as static and local phenomena. This shows, as Greenblatt affirms in his manifesto, that "one of the characteristic powers of a culture is its ability to hide the mobility that is its enabling condition."
This conference will analyse in particular these involuntary or premeditated areas of forgetting, the strategies and mechanisms of camouflage or obliteration of marks and memories related to transcultural mobility. We aim for an approach based on varied perspectives that unites at least two of the study/reflection areas common during the last decades: studies on the most diverse forms of cultural mobility such as migration, exile or tourism on the one hand, and studies on the processes inherent in the construction of the cultural or collective memory of a nation or geographic region on the other.
The main objective of the conference is to contribute to the mapping, where possible globally, of the places of memory marked out by human beings who, forced or voluntarily, in different historic periods and in diverse political, social and economic contexts, crossed frontiers but whose experiences were/are rarely remembered and much less commemorated by local cultures.
The conference invites papers on the following topics of reflection and discussion:
- Theory of cultural memory in transcultural contexts;
- Analysis of policies and discourses of memory related to migration;
- Presentation of examples of sights of displaced memories [e.g. transit places of refugees from repressive and discriminatory regimes of a political, social or racial character, such as frontier zones and/or transport platforms (airports, stations, ports) of a big migratory flux, refugee camps, safe havens, etc.];
- Cultural representations and artefacts of the migrant and the exiled (in literature, arts, cinema, photography, etc.);
- Places of memories/memories of places in (auto)biographic narratives of migration and/or exile;
- Transcultural amnesia/memory and gender;
- Transcultural amnesia/memory and (post)colonialism.
Elizabeth Russell - Department of English & German Studies, Universitat Rovira i Virgili/Tarragona, Spain.
Miguel Vale de Almeida - Professor of Anthropology at University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). [http://miguelvaledealmeida.net]
Rosa Cabecinhas, Professor of Social Sciences , University of Minho/Braga, Portugal.
Isabela Figueiredo - Portuguese writer; author of Cadernos de Memórias Coloniais (Notebooks of Colonial Memories), 2009.
Submission of abstracts: October 31, 2014.
Notification of selected papers: November 30, 2014
Submissions should include the submitter’s name, institutional address, e-mail address, short CV, language to use for the presentation, and a 250-word abstract (in English) of the proposed 20 min. paper should be sent via e-mail to: , no later than October 31, 2014. Submitters will be notified of the outcome by November 30, 2014. Any questions and queries can also be directed to this e-mail address.
Although papers can be presented in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish or German, the abstracts and CVs should be in English. When the presentations are not in English they should be accompanied by a Powerpoint in English.
Publication of a selection of the papers is planned.
Until March, 16, 2015: registration fee is 80 € / 40 € for students (payment by bank transfer).
If the payment will be at the congress during the registration, fee is 100 € / 50€ for students.
Optional: extra 25 € for the conference dinner on Friday evening, to pay at the local of the congress.
Participants are responsible for covering their own travel, lodging and meal expenses.
Information about the conference programme, hotels and other practical matters:
NETCult - Research Group on Transcultural Studies of the Centre for Humanistic Studies of the University of Minho (CEHUM) [http://ceh.ilch.uminho.pt/e_netcult.php]
Coord.: Mário Matos ( )
Scientific Committee (in alphabetical order):
Ana Gabriela Macedo (CEHUH-University of Minho)
Ana Paula Coutinho (ILC-University of Porto)
Carlos Pazos (CEHUM-University of Minho) Elizabeth Russell (University Rovira i Virgili/Tarragona, Spain)
Georgina Abreu (CEHUM-University fo Minho)
Idalete Dias (CEHUM-University of Minho)
Isabel Capeloa Gil (CECC-Catoholic University Lisbon)*
Jaime Costa (CEHUM-University of Minho)
Joanne Paisana (CEHUM-University of Minho)
Margarida Pereira (CEHUM-University of Minho)
Maria Manuela Silva (CEHUM-University of Minho)
Mário Matos (CEHUM-University of Minho)
Orlando Grossegesse (CEHUM-University of Minho)
Roberto Samartim (Galabra-University of University of Coruña & Santiago de Compostela, Galicia / Spain)
Rosa Cabecinhas (CECS-University of Minho)
Sérgio Sousa (CEHUM-University of Minho)
Teresa Pinheiro (Technische Universität Chemnitz, Germany)
* to be confirmed
Ana Maria Pereira (e-mail: ; tel.: 00351-253604185)
Paulo Martins (e-mail: ; tel.: 00351-253604162)