Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Back to Past Events

GEA Conference March 2013

Remembering, Forgetting, Imagining:
The Practices of Memory

Graduate English Association Conference 1-2 March, 2013
Registration is NOW OPEN!
Please scroll down for both registration and payment options.
Modern memory is, above all, archival. It relies entirely on the materiality of the trace, the immediacy of the recording, the visibility of the image.
          –Pierre Nora
This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore the crucial role of memory in formulating our individual and communal identities, and to examine the scholarly discipline of memory itself. We hope to initiate conversations about memory as an active and ongoing cognitive process rather than simply a reaction to past experiences or a set of “facts” frozen in time. While memory purports to preserve the past in the present, it is inherently protean and unstable, and prone to fictionalizing. Indeed, memory and imagination are tightly intertwined; memory and ideology are closely bound; and our memory of what has come before constantly shapes our understanding of and expectations about what is still to come.

This interdisciplinary conference, then, will explore not only this desire to make memory sacred but also our ability to forget, to forget that we've forgotten, and to imagine the past in a way that fits neatly into our worldviews. These questions are particularly relevant in the wake of recent revolutions and social movements in the Arab World, Europe, and even the United States; learning to reinvent the past in a certain way helps us to reimagine the future, and thus inaugurate change. Consequently, we invite proposals that explore the various and variegated practices of memory as figured through literature, culture, politics, and scholarship generally.
Professor Marianne Hirsch, Columbia University
          Visit Professor Hirsch's Columbia Staff Page
          Learn more about "Postmemory" at
Presenters might consider, but are not limited to, the following questions:
    • How is memory practiced through literature, art, film, or culture?
    • Who remembers? What is remembered? What is forgotten? Whose voices are heard? Whose voices are suppressed?
    • What is the role of “postmemory,” with its focus on the trauma of the past?
    • How is memory understood in early eras, such as medieval or early modern?
    • How do texts treat or reflect the past?
    • How does the past help us prepare for the future?
    • What is the role of imagination in memory or nostalgia?
    • How is memory mediated by “memory makers” and memorials?
    • In what ways has postmodernism influenced the study of memory?
    • What is the role of psychoanalysis in memory studies?
    • In what ways does the state repress and/or produce memory?
    • How do neoconservatist or neoliberalist movements treat the past?
    • How do memorializing objects—texts, photographs, monuments—produce and /or subvert an official state narrative?
    • What is the role of affect in producing collective memory?
Please sign up for Practices of Memory using this Google registration form. Even if you are a member of the Fordham community, you need to register using this form.

The Fordham University payment collection service ("Payjunction") can be accessed by clicking the "Add to Cart" button below. Current Fordham GSAS students and Faculty do not have to complete this step. All other attendees must fill out both the form and the payment information for registration to be complete.

Secure Merchant Account Credit Card Processing.Merchant Account

To enquire into the Roundtable discussion, email Christy Pottroff ( or Ali Butzner (
To join or follow or like this conference on Facebook, go to

Site  | Directories
Submit Search Request