European Commission - 7th Framework Programme European Museums and Libraries in/of the age of migrations last updated: February 2015

2013 Conference on Cultural Memory

5-6 September 2013

SkopjeRepublic of Macedonia | Centre for Culture and Cultural Studies and The Balkan Network for Culture and Culture Studies



The Centre for Culture and Cultural Studies (CCCS) and The Balkan Network for Culture and Culture Studies (BNCCS) are organizing the first of many to follow, annually-held conferences, under the overarching theme of Cultural Memory. The conference will be held in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, on 5-6 September 2013.

Finding a way to articulate and express individual and collective identities, which find themselves under the undeniable pressure of globalization, transition and consumer processes, is becoming increasingly important. On the one hand, in today’s contemporary, post-modern societies, the various ethnic groups call for recognition, which in turn demonstrates a need for the construction of their pasts, and thus, their cultural memories. On the other hand, if national, regional, religious and/or local cultural identities present today were portrayed as more or less stable entities, today they may be observed as nothing more than events, changes or conflicts usually associated with secularization, industrialization, globalization, migration, or many other political, economic, cultural and/or religious. From this stance, culture is seen as shaped under the influence of processes that stand in constant mutual tension. In other words, it is located in a state of constant negotiation with the newly present conditions, values, ideas and beliefs, set in circumstances whence the previously dominant segments are no longer present. In such processes, the term memory occupies a central role.

The objective of this first conference is twofold: namely, to contribute to the study of cultural memory by unlocking narratives about the past (and their canonization), and offer relevant critical observations on the manifestations of cultural memory that are not essentially ‘narratives’. This approach provides a kind of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary access to cultural memory taken from various perspectives.

In this context, we are faced by the following questions: how do we recall, remember and forget? What stories are ‘permitted’ and which are ‘forbidden’? How does the past determine the present and shape the future? How do the various discourses of the past determine the social and personal identities? How are our deepest emotions, desires and fantasies articulated in the present through the discursive space of memory? What are the relations between memory and monuments, archives and museums? How can we understand the dual nature of monuments: as tools of ideologically driven memory (fixed memory) and/or as constant sources of creative construction and opening up of memory? Does technological development influence the process of remembering the past? What are the implications of a digitalization of memory? What kind of history is created by the massive use of digital technologies (i.e., online archives that are encoding/decoding their users’ memories in virtual space)? How do the systems used for production affect the ways that use, protect and work with memory? In what ways is cultural tourism associated with memory? How does it reflect the local and global histories in terms of which narratives are being produced and consumed?

On that note, individual and collective memory within the processes of creating identities provides for the contemporary researcher indispensable links to the myriad present-day realities that are at the same time quite problematic. This duality manifests itself in the creative and conceptual forms of expression. Hence, the aim of the conference is to bring closer the various aspects applied in studying cultural memory. The conference aims at fostering a critical dialogue beyond the boundaries set by various disciplines, thus papers from various disciplines and fields are most welcomed, including art history, literature, anthropology, architecture, philosophy, political science, sociology, cultural geography, cultural studies, media and film studies, ethnology and folklore, economics, history, heritage studies, museum studies, landscape studies, leisure studies, tourism studies, transport studies and urban/spatial planning.


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