Cultural Memory: Fictional and Non-Fictional Political Narratives
Winter 2018, Kristiansand, Norway
Constructing narratives is a common enterprise for authors of fiction and informants who offer their lived experience in oral or written accounts. Both fictional and non-fictional narratives rely on conventions and patterns which they imitate, reconstruct, or destabilize. This symposium explores how historical events are recounted in witness accounts and literary narratives. The complex relation between these different types of political narratives calls for a critical reflection on the relationship between fact and fiction, which will be a key issue of the symposium.
Imaginaries and Memories of Forced Migration: Gender and Nonviolent Struggle
Summer 2018, Fårö, Sweden
This symposium explores imaginaries and memories of forced migration by focusing on issues of gender and nonviolent struggle. Gender is regularly mobilised in stories from the powerful masculinity of the male patriarch leading his people to safety to mass media focus on the imaginary dangers of unaccompanied young male refugees, to the particular vulnerabilities and forgotten stories of women forced to flee with children. How does gender feature in imaginaries and memories of forced migration? We address this question in the context of a broader discussion of how agency and nonviolent struggle are perceived in cultural memories of forced migration.
Intersections of Ethics and Aesthetics in Theorizing Narrative and Memory
Winter 2019, Turku, Finland
This symposium will focus on different theoretical approaches to the intersections of ethics and aesthetics in conceptualizing narrative and memory. Aesthetic commitments – which may emphasise, for example, narrative coherence or incoherence, the ineffability or communicability of traumatic experiences – are never ethically neutral. The symposium explores the complex ways in which the aesthetic and the ethical are intertwined in processes and practices of narrating the past in Nordic, Baltic, and broader European contexts.
Fragmented Memory: War, Refugee Crisis, and Narratives of Displacement
This symposium will explore memory within the context of forced displacement, asking how traumatic or incomplete narratives are woven, shared, or at times silenced. We examine the immediate constructions of narratives of absence and loss during displacement, and the consequences of subsequent narrative gaps or (re)negotiations. We also investigate the possibilities for enabling the voicing of such narratives within and across communities – the physical connections and disconnections, the digital technologies, and the multi-sensory interactions that might be opened up through storytelling and listening practices.