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

The Arts of Memory

26-27 April 2012

New York, USA| The New School for Social Research



Fifth Interdisciplinary Memory Conference


Playing on the title of the influential text of Frances Yates, The Art of Memory, (1966), where she traces the use of mnemonic techniques from the classical age to the Enlightenment, the fifth annual NSSR Interdisciplinary Memory Conference will focus on contemporary arts of memory.

Participants will discuss the arts and artifices of memory practices, both as embedded in physical forms, such as museums and memorials, and in the enactment of memory practices, such as truth and reconciliation processes. Interdisciplinary in scope, the conference reaches for new ways to conceptualize the arts of memory through the visual, tactile, textual, and synesthetic expressions of the past. Other sessions will be dedicated to a reflexive examination of the arts of memory scholarship—the scholarly investigation of the arts of memory investigated as an art in itself.

We seek paper submissions from any and all academic disciplines, as well as from memory arts practitionersempirical, theoretical, and methodological papers are all solicited.

Some of the questions this conference will address:

  • How are different memory practices oriented around different senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell?
  • How are events associated with one set of senses or practices remembered through another set of senses or practices?
  • How are spaces and material objects, such as sites, documents, photographs, and bodies, transformed through memory practices?
  • How are different methods of memory disrupted, altered, or remapped over time?
  • What is the relationship between destruction and creation in memory practices?
  • What happens when events that seem insignificant as they unfold in the present become imbued with new significance in memory form?
  • What methods do we use as scholars to conduct research on memory practice? How do we study memory on an individual and a socio-historical scale?
  • What theoretical perspectives can shed light on methodologies of memory?

Themes the conference will examine:

  • Methods of social remembering
  • Memory and the body
  • Memory and the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell
  • Memory and space/place
  • Virtual museums, digital archives, and online memory projects
  • Mapping memory
  • Evidentiary practices
  • Memory and visual culture/cultural production
  • Loss and aging of memories on a social scale
  • Memory and transformation, confusion, destruction, fragmentation
  • Synesthetic memory
  • Theoretical approaches to the analysis of methods of memory
  • Research methods in memory studies


To submit a paper, send email to by December 15, 2011, with "2012 ABSTRACT" in the subject line. Include the following: an abstract not longer than 250 words with a tentative paper title and a short personal resume (200 words maximum) including your institutional affiliation. Decisions will be made by late January 2012. For more information on about the 2012 conference, past conferences, and other related activities, visit

Note: This 2012 conference is now scheduled to coincide with a celebration honoring the career of Professor of Sociology Vera Zolberg on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The two events, while maintaining their own agendas, will complement each other and all conference participants are encouraged to attend both, and vice versa.



» link to the Conference