[MGSA-L] Fwd: Call for Papers/Special Issue

Neni Panourgia np255 at columbia.edu
Fri Sep 26 06:14:58 PDT 2014


*The /International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics/ (MCP) 
Special Issue:*


*'Studies in Cultural Memory'*


Guest-edited by Eleftheria Rania Kosmidou (University of Salford) and 
Christos Dermentzopoulos (UOI)

31 March 2015 deadline for submission of proposals (300 words)

(For accepted proposals the deadline for completed 6,000-7,000 words 
essays is 30 June 2015).

Call for Papers

In 1925 Maurice Halbwachs placed memory in a social context when he 
argued that collective memories are socially constructed while his 
research and study have set the boundaries of the notion of collective 
memory ever since. Jan Assmann disagrees with this notion and 
constructed cultural memory as an analytical and methodological 
category, a category exceptionally closely related to politics. In his 
1988 essay ‘Collective Memory and Cultural Identity’, translated in 1995 
by John Czaplicka, Assmann separated collective memory (which he calls 
communicative memory) and its social basis from cultural memory and its 
cultural basis. Cultural memory differs from collective memory in two 
ways: first, it focuses on cultural characteristics that ‘communicative’ 
or ‘everyday memory’ lack. Second, it is different from history, which 
does not have the characteristics of memory. Assmann’s focus on the 
first distinction, namely the distinction between 
collective/communicative memory and cultural memory, has its grounds on 
the fact that communicative/collective memory is characterized by its 
proximity to the everyday. When we move from the everyday, we have 
cultural memory. For Assmann, cultural memory is based on fateful events 
of the past, on fixed points which he calls ‘figures of memory’ whose 
‘memory is maintained through cultural formation (texts, rites, 
monuments) and institutional communication (recitation, practice, 
observance)’ (Assman 1995: 129). Cultural memory’s function is to unify 
and stabilize a common identity that spans many generations and it is 
not easy to change, as opposed to collective memory that has a 
three-generation cycle. Hence the representation of history through 
institutions and the arts becomes a matter of /praxis/, of 
transformation of the solidified narrative for the sake of society’s 

Since Assmann’s seminal essay, the interrelationship between culture and 
memory has come forth as an essential and central issue of 
interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, involving fields such 
as history, literary studies, film and media studies, digital 
humanities, memory studies, archaeology, sociology, cultural studies, 
trauma studies, philosophy as well as neurosciences, psychology and 
psychiatry. The importance of the notion of cultural memory is not only 
documented by the recent growth, since the late 1980s, of publications, 
but also by the more recent trend to integrate different research 
methods of this emerging field, that assert to the need to bring focus 
to this debate and to examine the theoretical and methodological 
challenges of this field. With this special issue of Studies in Cultural 
Memory we wish to offer a space for scholarly debate and dialogue on  
cultural memory, in a European context and internationally (mainly the 
USA) that assumes a distinctly cultural and social perspective.

This special issue welcomes research across disciplines in the 
humanities and social sciences and seeks to provide a critical forum for 
dialogue and debate on the theoretical, methodological, and empirical 
issues central to an understanding of cultural memory today. Papers 
should address the ways in which cultural memory is formed, used, 
presented and represented, appropriated, and changed while being 
committed to the broad understanding of cultural memory as the interplay 
of past and present in socio-cultural and historical contexts. In 
particular, the volume encourages papers that examine questions of 
cultural memory, its manipulation and its understanding as a 
methodological and epistemological tool as well as papers that 
investigate the relation between cultural memory and new media 
(including the Internet, social media etc) as well as old media 
(photography, cinema, TV etc).

Topics might address, but are not limited to, the following:

1)What can scholars, theorists and artists learn through Assmann’s essay?

2)What role does cultural memory play today?

3)What is being done to critique it?

4)How is cultural memory embedded/constructed in film, television, 
literature, comic books and graphic novels, visual art, and theatre?

5)Can cultural memory be manipulated?

6)What issues does post-memory raise?

7)How are memories used to mobilize groups and form identities?

8)What is the role of social media and the Internet?

9)How is nostalgia related to cultural memory? What is the role of 
nostalgia in the formation of cultural memory?

10)What is the role of location in the construction of cultural memory?

MCP invites interested contributors to send (6,000-7,000 word) essays 
incl. references, short commentaries (2,500-3,000), and book reviews 
(1,000-2,500) on Cultural Memory to the Guest Editors at the following 
addresses: kosmidourania at gmail.com <mailto:kosmidourania at gmail.com> and 
cdermen at uoi.gr <mailto:cdermen at uoi.gr>**on or before 30^th  June 2015. 
Contributors should also include their affiliation, contact details and 
a short biographical note of approximately 200 words.**


*The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics (Intellect)*



*Abstracting and Indexing*



Please feel free to forward to others who may be interested.


Best regards,

Rania Kosmidou and Christos Dermentzopoulos


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