International Postgraduate Symposium

                                               Call for Papers! 

Submissions closed!

When: 25th/26th June 2015  Where: University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ  Submission deadline: 30th April 2015


This symposium sets out to explore the productive tensions between forgetting and remembering and their effects on culture.

Preserving and handing down history and its influence on the cultural memory of modern societies is the conventional provenance of the humanities scholarship. At the same time, the construction of any historical narrative assumes the erasure of any competing narrative, an erasure that is forgetting.

If we assume that cultural memory is built upon suppression and forgetting, then memory as a personal and collective reality implies that the past is not simply there in memory, but it must be articulated to become memory.

We may thus challenge the assumption that cultural identity is about creating a narrative on one’s own place in history and what happened in the past: it might rather be that what cultures treasure as memory is important for identity formation as much as what it is forgotten.

Areas of Enquiry

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We welcome presenters from any areas of the humanities and the possible fields of research may relate to:


•                     The role of power in constructing memory (censorship and canon/ dissent and subversion)

•                     Redemption as ‘citability’ of one’s own past (narratives of personal and national identities)

•                     Digital memory and identities (avatars, role play games, cosplay)

•                     Gendered memory

•                     Archives as repositories of memory (genealogy, journalism, new media)

•                     Contested memories (subalternity, gender issues)

•                     Memory and progress

•                     Performative memories (commemorations, re-enactments)

•                     Counterfactual memories (authentic vs  fictional memory)

•                     History and historiography

•                     Anthropocene and post-human re-inscription of memory (systematic memory, automatic memory)

•                     Psychoanalysis (memory, trauma, remembering violence)

•                     Memory and the philosophical subject

•                     Non-verbal memory transmission (visual communication, imitation, animal behaviour)

•                     Translating memory


We particularly encourage papers which bring together more than one of these areas, and entail inter-disciplinary research in postgraduate work.

Keynote Speakers

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The deadline for proposals is on the 30th April 2015. Extended deadline 15th May 2015!!! These should be sent as an email attachment to We aim to deliver feedback within 2 weeks. 

Abstract guidelines

Please submit a 250 word abstract, including your name, a brief CV, institutional affiliation, email address and paper title. Please refer to the section  and the proposed registration sample. Presentations may include visual aids and / or be poster presentation. Please inform us of your visual needs when you submit your abstract, and whether your presentation will be a poster presentation.

Presentation guidelines

Presentations include:
1) Poster presentations: these may include any work in progress on the symposium topic. They may be interactive, engaging  the audience on a one-to-one basis so as to gather feedback. Presenters will be provided with board space to display their work. 
2) Papers: Individual papers will be allocated 15-20 minutes for the presentation and 5-10 minutes for questions.


The type of submission preferred should be specified on the application



A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. […]"                              Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History”, IX, 1940


The deadline for proposals is on the 30th April 2015. Extended deadline 15th May 2015!!! These should be sent as an email attachment to We aim to deliver feedback within 2 weeks.