CFP: Memories of Loss, Dreams of Solidarity

Call for Papers – International Conference:  Memories of Loss, Dreams of Solidarity
University of Edinburgh,
30th of January to 1st of February 2020

Deadline for paper abstracts: 30 September 2019

The University of Edinburgh is hosting an interdisciplinary international conference entitled Memories of Loss, Dreams of Solidarity. The conference examines intricate processes of political memory-formation in the wake of systemic political violence. It invites reflection on competing national mythologies, their affective modalities, genres and material instantiations. We also welcome analyses of critical artistic interventions, in particular in relation to their ability to reveal the ambiguities and complexities of political violence and to sketch images of alternative futures. The goal is to displace the predominant victim-perpetrator binary, challenge linear political visions of transcending the past and nurture visions of solidarity that remain deeply anchored in the murky terrain of past complicities and resistances. We aim to bring together perspectives from political theory, memory studies, art, history, transitional justice, literature and film to interrogate the risks and potentials involved in remembering histories of violence and loss.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Emily Beausoleil, Victoria University
  • Vikki Bell, Goldsmith, University of London
  • Mihaela Czobor-Lupp, Carleton College
  • Hans Lauge Hansen, Aarhus University
  • Melissa Steyn, University of Witwatersrand
  • Joseph R. Winters, Duke University
  • Maria-Alina Asavei, Charles University
  • Esteban Buch, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales de Paris

We invite papers that address, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • What role can imagination play in problematising the memorialisation of political violence?
  • How does nostalgia factor in processes of memorialisation? Is nostalgia a necessarily conservative force?
  • What is the political value of melancholia and disappointment in relation to revealing the residual effects of systemic violence?
  • What horizons of political hope are opened up by various collective reactions to past violence?
  • Can painful pasts provide sources for utopian dreaming?
  • What are the normative implications of understanding violent pasts in terms of complicity and responsibility?
  • Can artistic production supplement – or even surpass – theory in its power to illuminate the intricate dynamics of societal involvement in political violence?
  • How can we distinguish between disclosive and obscuring artistic genres and practices of memorialising the murky realities of political conflict?
  • What are unconventional repositories of dissident political memories, how can we identify them, and what role can these play in problematising official narratives of the past?
  • How does location and the materiality of the medium affect the political significance of memory and its potential to produce more nuanced understandings of systemic violence?
  • What happens, politically, culturally and aesthetically, when a former opposed memory becomes a new official memory? How is it possible, if at all, for critical memory to maintain its integrity when co-opted by the state or the cultural industry?
  • On the basis of what sources can we articulate visions of solidarity in the wake of political struggles?

We encourage applications from various disciplinary backgrounds, including social and political theory, philosophy, history, art, cultural, memory studies, transitional justice and film studies. We welcome contributions from normative, historical, conceptual and comparative perspectives.

Abstract Submission

The deadline for paper abstracts is 30 September 2019. Abstract submissions should include your name, institutional affiliation, contact, paper title, an abstract of no more than 200 words and a brief biographical note.

Notification of acceptance will be given by mid-October at the latest. The selected participants will be asked to submit their papers via email by 10 January 2020.

A limited number of bursaries is available. If you wish to be considered for financial support, please specify the reasons in the relevant rubric in the application form.

To submit your application, follow this link:


The conference is organized by the GREYZONE project team. Please direct all your queries to



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s