Students at Royal Holloway,
University of London Royal Holloway,
University of London

Technologies of Memory in the Arts

Radboud University, Nijmegen
19-20 May 2006

Deadline: 1 November 2005

The conference 'Technologies of Memory in the Arts' focuses on art as
a cultural and technological practice to process and construct the
past in the present. Central questions to this conference are: How do
art and artistic practices function as technologies of memory? How are
cultural artefacts implicated in complex processes of remembering and
forgetting, of recollecting and disremembering, of amnesia and

As a shared artistic and social practice, cultural memory links the
present to the past. In doing so, cultural memory has strong ethical
and political aspects. The arts are continuously engaged in non-linear
processes of remembering and forgetting, characterised by repetition,
rearrangement, revision, and rejection. In artistic representations
new memories are thus constantly constructed, deconstructed and
reconstructed by narrative strategies, visual and aural styles,
intertextuality and intermediality, representations of time and space,
and rituals of remembrance. These complex processes of representation
are what we understand by the term 'technologies of memory'.

The contemporary fascination with history and memory is accompanied by
developments in media technology that have simultaneously a petrifying
and a virtualising effect. Both individual and cultural memory are
increasingly mediated by modern technologies, which means that
memories are not only recorded and recollected by media, but are also
shaped and produced by them. The digital media, in particular, allow
for new ways of storing, retrieving and archiving personal and
collective memories, as well as cultural artefacts.

The conference theme Technologies of memory in the arts specifically
addresses the material construction of cultural memory. Some panels
will explore procedures of memory in both traditional and new media.
Other panels will investigate the role of digitalisation of art and
culture in relation to memory. Generally, the focus of this conference
will be on the materiality of representation and on the relation
between the medium and the construction of cultural memory.

Key note speakers:
- Marita Sturken (University of Southern California)
- Ann Rigney (Utrecht University)

Panels and papers on the conference theme are invited before 1
November 2005.

Suggested topics:
- Mediated memories
- Narrative strategies
- Intertextuality / intermediality
- Music as memory work
- Urban space and spatial dimensions
- Tourism and heritage
- Musical subcultures as memory space
- Representations of memory in the arts
- Amnesia and anamnesia
- Icons of the recent past
- Rituals of remembrance
- Rituals, music and the shape of memory
- Nostalgia and pastiche
- Retro styles as forms of cultural memory
- Rewritings of the classics
- Digitalisation of archives
- Music/sound recordings and the technology of memory

The department of Comparative Arts and Cultural Studies of the Radboud
University Nijmegen participates in the EU-sponsored research network
ACUME, a network of over thirty European countries researching
cultural memory from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Conference committee: Sophie Levie, Edwin van Meerkerk, Liedeke Plate,
Mathijs Sanders and Anneke Smelik

More information and submission:

Contact information: Edwin van Meerkerk,, tel.
+31 24 3615543

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