Memory, Memorialization, and Forgetting: The 5th Annual Graduate Conference, Department of English, University of Toronto, 23-24 April 2015
“Memory is a tough place.”
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
How do we think and feel memory? Memory can be conceptualized as a cabinet for preserving life’s most important artifacts, or as a film that we are constantly re-shooting and re-editing in our minds. For some, memory is synonymous with the self; for others, it is a phantom limb, or a ghost. Language can house sites of memory in the structures of its words and genres as words accrue meanings and become histories that expose, through the nuances of a voice’s expression, the places where those words’ histories mix with their speaker’s memories.
The relationships between sites of memory and memory itself are always fraught. Asfragmentation seems to be ever-increasing, the impetus to memorialize seems more urgent now than ever. Transnational flows of cultural artifacts, objects, and goods, as well as migration, diaspora, and dispersal occasion numerous sites of remembering, mis-remembering, and forgetting.How are such planetary changes involved in the ways that we recollect, conceptualize, and memorialize our affective histories?
The University of Toronto’s Department of English welcomes both academic and creative submissionsto our 5th annual graduate conference. We encourage submissions from a variety of disciplines that foreground literary and theoretical positions which address the conference themes of memory and remembering. Presentations of 15-20 minutes may range from traditional seminar papers to creative works of literature, poetry, film, et al.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
• memorialization, deja vu, unexpected recollection
• statues, monuments, figurines
• events, ordinary happenings
• history, herstory
• rupture, loss, forgetting
• amnesia, repression, sublation
• false testimony, witnessing, mis-remembering
• the collective unconscious, deep time, sedimentation
• atavism, blocked historical knowledge, annexed history
• spectrality, hauntings, phantasmagoria
• archive, digital memory, database aesthetics
• destruction of archives, records, art
• home, belonging, nostalgia
• affect, attachment
• uprootings, diaspora
• life writing, autobiography, memoir
• trauma, wound, schism
• medieval memory
• cultural memory (gastronostalgia, tradition, clothing and textile)
• personal/collective remembering/forgetting
Please send 250-word abstracts and 50-word bios to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Creative proposals are also
We look forward to reading your submissions.
Deadline for submissions is 30 January 2015.