Symposium/CfP - The Politics of Memory Practices: Making the Past Present in Contemporary Education, 21 – 24 February 2016, Germany

Publish Date: Sep 03, 2015

Deadline: Sep 15, 2015

Event Dates: from Feb 21, 2016 12:00 to Feb 24, 2016 12:00

The last decade has witnessed a profound change in the interdisciplinary field of memory studies.  Instead of analysing representations of memory in different media, researchers are increasingly paying attention to memory practices, i.e. how people in various sites and contexts negotiate the meanings they ascribe to the past. Collective memory (or: cultural memory, social memory, connected memory, prosthetic memory, multidirectional memory, tangled memory, travelling memory) is thus seen as a site of political contestation, subject formation, ideological struggle, knowledge production and community-building.

This symposium aims to explore the dynamics of these processes with a special focus on schools and other sites of education. We take a cultural politics approach to education, seeing schools as places where young people spend much of their waking lives, where different generations meet, where students encounter hegemonic discourse, and where relations of authority and hierarchy are (re)produced, negotiated and interrupted.

We are particularly interested in papers which address the following topics:

  • Practices of using educational media in various sites of education (schools, museums, etc.)
  • Students’ and teachers’ perspectives on what counts as worth remembering
  • Perspectives on how policy, programmatic and enacted curricula strengthen or contradict one another in enacting memory
  • Where and how fissures and breaches in ‘hegemonic’ memory discourse become visible in classroom practice
  • Theoretical approaches to conceptualizing ‘memory practices’
  • Methodological strategies for analysing the doing of memory


We invite you to submit a 300-400 word abstract for a 20 minute presentation, including a short bio-note and contact details to by 15 September 2015. Our goal is to create a space for exchange and discussion across theoretical, methodological and disciplinary approaches. To this end, we request full drafts (max. 7000 words incl. references) be submitted by 21 January 2016 to enable discussants and other participants to engage with the materials before the conference. Participants will be invited to contribute to a peer-reviewed publication.

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