Contested histories on the move: rethinking memory through mobility and agency
Jelena Tosic (University of St.Gallen)
Monika Palmberger (University of Vienna)
David Berliner (Universite Libre de Bruxelles)
Tilmann Heil (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)
Start time:
3 August, 2014 at 9:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel reassesses the anthropological engagement with memory through the conceptual and ethnographic prisms of mobility and agency. Apart from the interplay of personal and public mnemonic domains, of special interest are diverse forms and practices of counter-memories beyond the national frame.

Long abstract:

As a challenging field of interdisciplinary synergies, memory studies involve a broad range of anthropological contributions. However, a great bulk of this research has focused on memory related to processes of socio-cultural transmission and continuity. Thereby memory has been framed first and foremost in collective and sedentary terms and within a national frame. In this workshop we thus want to explore questions of mnemonic practices and history production through the notions of mobility and agency. This approach allows us to both take into account and transcend the national frame in which memory has been traditionally studied and to reveal mnemonic practices contesting hegemonic historiographies. We are particularly interested in mobile actors - individuals (e.g. migrants, refugees) as well as transnational networks (e.g. civic activist groups) - whose mobility and transnational ties/memories empower them to contest hegemonic historiographies and to introduce alternative histories.

We welcome ethnographic and theoretical papers dealing with memory and its epistemologies, which address the following (or related) questions:

• When does mobility figure as a potential resource of contesting national hegemonic narratives and/or commemorative practices?

• How do increased and diversified mobility patterns affect mnemonic practices?

• What forms of mnemonic agency "travel" and develop through transnational (e.g. activist, artist's etc.) networks and how do they challenge national histories?

• What is the mutual relationship between personal and public counter-memories?