Memory, Trauma, Truth, Engagement
Tuesday 29th July – Thursday 31st July 2014
Mansfield College, Oxford
This inaugural conference aims to examine the evolving genres and emerging contexts of testimonial production Testimony: Memory, Trauma, Truth, and Engagement. Broadly understood, testimony is an autobiographical narrative that presents evidence of first-person accounts of human rights abuses, violence and war, and life under conditions of social oppression. It is a genre that continues to thrive and evolve in the twenty-first century and one that encompasses a diversity of expression or representation—from oral to written as well as nonfictional to fictional.
Testimonial related research includes topics such as: human rights and storytelling; trauma and memory; ethics, witnessing, and reconciliation; affect theory and empathy studies; critical pedagogy. Scholars continue to engage questions that address issues of generic hybridity and metamorphosis; evolving uses, reception, and production of testimony; ethical and aesthetic contexts of testimony; and legal and juridical frameworks of testimony.
Since testimonial production implies a spectrum of disciplines, art forms, geographical and historical contexts as well as multi-lingual realities—it is through an interdisciplinary framework that allows for an ethical exploration of the impact and contributions of testimony and its legacies. It is through interdisciplinarity that a just and fair examination can be made of the impact and contributions of testimonial production within the cultures of redress and transnational justice processes for both the producers of testimony and their audience.
This call for proposals asks for consideration of testimony in terms of its trajectories into questions dealing with memory, trauma, truth, and/or witness engagement. Examples of the above can be seen in, but are not exclusive to, the following categories:
Genre and Production
- Literary and filmic witnessing: documentaries, witness testimonies
– Life writing genres (autobiography, memoirs, letters, ethnography, etc.)
– Testimonial writing: fiction vs. non-fiction, official history vs. reality
– Social media: twitter, Facebook, Youtube
Trauma and Memory
- Historical memory: spectral spaces, haunted geographies, memorialisation
– Collective memory: oral history
– Healing and recovery: survivor groups
– Official history
Truth and Reconciliation
- Cultures of redress: personal, collective
– Political persecution and torture
– Challenges of truth and reconciliation commissions
Pedagogy and Civic Engagement
- Culture of acknowledgement
– Human rights and social justice: social activism and awareness
– Methodologies and pedagogies of testimony
Proposals for panels and alternative forms of presentation are strongly encouraged on the above and related topics.
In order to support and encourage interdisciplinarity engagement, it is our intention to create the possibility of starting dialogues between the parallel events running during this conference. Delegates are welcome to attend up to two sessions in each of the concurrent conferences. We also propose to produce cross-over sessions between these groups – and we welcome proposals which deal with the relationship between Testimony and Fear and Anxiety.
What to Send
Proposals will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 14th February 2014. If a proposal is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper of no more than 3000 words should be submitted by Friday 16th May 2014. Proposals should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Testimony1 Proposal Submission
All abstracts will be at least double blind peer reviewed. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
Organising Chairs .
The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.
Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.
Details on the conference running alongside this project in 2014 can be found here: Fear and Anxiety in the 21st Century
Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.