[Spanish version below]
Latin America occupies a special place in Memory Studies. Yet, until recently, the Latin American continent has received little attention from Western scholars on many different levels. Memory Studies are no exception here, even if the continent itself has a well-connected and active scene of scholars working on and in the field. While academic interest in memory has started to rise during the 1980s both in Latin America and elsewhere, the historical backgrounds from which the topic has been approached were far from similar. In most of Europe and North America, Memory Studies developed particularly with regard to the Holocaust, and therefore with an already considerable timely distance, while in Latin America the backdrops have been the dictatorships in the Southern Cone and the revolutions and civil wars in South and Central America. But these were only beginning to decline in the early years of the Memory Studies boom, meaning that the situation for many Latin Americanists was unique given the little timely distance to the events considered. This is one important aspect in which Latin American memory scholarship differs from other parts in the world.
Another particularity consists in the specific situation in which many memory scholars in the region have often been themselves affected by the historical events such as revolutions, dicatorships and civil wars, and which has created the unique environment of Latin American memory scholarship. (Personal) Involvement as one of the key features of academic work has resulted in a dedicated and politically active landscape in which research and its methods are understood as a potential outlet for change-making. However, this has at times led to more empirical and less theoretically ambitious work. Often, key concepts and lines of thought developed in and for Europe or North America are applied to the continent to point out differences, but not as notably vice versa. The working group on Memory in Latin America therefore aims at strengthening the already established connections of scholarly work on and within the continent, but also aspires to make scholarship from the region more visible in global academic discourse. Taking into account the heterogeneity of Latin American experiences in dealing with the past, the very different historical circumstances in each country, and the diverse strategies chosen to address past injustices, scholarship on the region has a lot to offer for comparisons with other areas of the world. Furthermore, a reconsideration of the theoretical potential of the empirical work done in the region is due. For the conference of the Memory Studies Association in Madrid (June 25-29th, 2019), MemoriAL – Interdisciplinary Latin American Memory Research Network seeks to launch the Working Group on Memory in Latin America. In the MemoriAL network, our discussions have focussed on the reflection and challenges involved in the interdisciplinary research of memory studies, the singularities and similarities of the construction and study of Latin American memory, and finally, the transnational relationships between these experiences and the role that they play in a global context. As part of the advisory board of the MSA, MemoriAL aims to connect as many scholars as possible who work on these or related aspects. We therefore plan a series of panels focusing on all topics related to memory in Latin America.
The overall aim of the conference of the MSA in Madrid is to move beyond Eurocentric conceptions of memory and explore transnational aspects and specific regional examples. We therefore invite paper proposals spanning (but not limited to) the following areas of study with a strong focus on Latin America:
- power and the production of memory
- memory of/and colonialism
- subaltern memories
- history of memory in the region
- political activism and memory
- memory, human rights and justice
- conceptions of time
- raced, classed, gendered (and other) memories
- memory and art
- media and memory
- theoretical approaches to memory
- methodological approaches to memory
- memory and/in the museum
- memory and emotion/affect
- memory and place/space/geography
Paper abstracts should have a length of no more than 200 words and can be written in English, Spanish or Portuguese (note, however, that the presentation has to be in either English or Spanish). A biography of no more than 80 words should also be included. Please submit your proposal until Sept. 20th to Hendrikje.Grunow@uni-konstanz.de and L.Voigtlaender@uni-bonn.de. We will then shape the panels accordingly. Acceptance letters from the MSA will be send out in January 2019.
The Working Group Memory in Latin America seeks to create long-term collaborations between scholars from different disciplines and geographical locations who are interested in planing projects and publications together. The conference in Madrid will be the first occasion for a meeting of the members of the Working Group. You are welcome to join the group even if you are unable to participate in the conference in Madrid, so please get in touch with us either way. Keep in mind that to become a member of the Working Group, as well as for presenting in Madrid, you need to be a member of the Memory Studies Association. For a paper proposal, this is not required.
Spanish version: Seguir leyendo “Call for Papers: Memory in Latin America”