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Provincializing European Memory

International conference organized by NITMES: Network in Transnational Memory Studies, led by Utrecht University, and the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform (FMSP).

Goethe University Frankfurt, 24-25 September 2015

The NITMES network studies the dynamics of transnational memory by focussing on the circulation of memories across national borders, by highlighting the different scales of memory and their interrelations (the familial and the national, the local and the global, the regional and the transregional etc.), and by addressing memories that represent and connect different communities. After the NITMES conferences on ‘Memory without Borders’ (Utrecht June 2013), ‘Diasporic Memory’ (Urbana Champaign November 2013), ‘Memory Transfers and Transformations’ (Konstanz June 2014), ‘Scales of Memory” (Canberra December 2014), and ‘Memory Practices and the Making of Europe’ (Lund, June 2015), the series will be continued with a NITMES-conference at Goethe-University Frankfurt.

This conference’s specific focus is on PROVINCIALIZING EUROPEAN MEMORY. Much research so far has addressed the dynamics of memory in Europe and the so-called ‘Western world’. ‘Provincializing European memory’ is meant as an appeal and a challenge: It describes our aim to study memory practices in different parts of the world that may call into question some of the (seemingly universal) concepts which have been developed within memory studies on the basis of predominantly European cases (e.g., the nation as a key frame of memory, the ‘Holocaust’ as a global symbol, lieux de mémoire as an expression of modernity, the structure of testimony).

While on the one hand, we are interested in the logic of transnational memory in less-frequently studied areas such as, for example, China, Africa, and the Indian Ocean, we will also, on the other hand, study nonmainstream, unexpected, and ‘subaltern’ practices of transnational memory within Europe. Ideally, this workshop will help us to broaden our understanding of transnational memory and to take a fresh look at memory studies’ concepts, theories, and methodologies with the help of scholars from neighbouring academic fields, such as postcolonial studies, anthropology, and area studies.

Click here to see the conference program and here to read through the abstracts.

A detailed conference report can be found on H-Soz-Kult.