International Conference on War and Memory in 20th Century Europe

Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.
Organised jointly by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Queen’s University of Belfast.
Keynote speakers: Norman Davies (tbc), Jay Winter, Barbara Szacka (tbc).
Presentations centred on the literary, cinematographic and artistic representations of war in the twentieth century, particularly World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and the Second World War, are warmly invited from scholars worldwide, as are papers concerned with the memories of these wars, their legacies and their metamorphoses over the years. The conference aims to examine the representations in the different disciplines, in different genres and in media such as film and propaganda of the phenomena of war and conflict, together with the way in which individual and collective memories of those phenomena are transmitted. The participating academics will be those who are engaged in research on the cultural and aesthetic effects of war and conflict on Europeans, particularly in the twentieth century. The conference will include the presentation of results of research devoted to artistic contributions to collective memory-building, with special reference to civil societies in Europe. The conference will explore the modes by which cultural memory of wars and conflicts survives from one era to another, how it is conveyed, and to what extent it is subject to a dual perspective, that of event, ‘rupture’ and transition on the one hand, and that of continuity on the other. In terms of generations and memory, the original participants are gradually disappearing now, leaving new generations to reinvent the memory, or memories, of wars, superimposing layer upon layer of memory on the original phenomenon as in a palimpsest. Topical (and occasionally even urgent) issues of cultural ‘amnesia’ that are the consequences of war or conflict will also be subjects of discussion.
Other subjects will include:
- The interaction between historical accounts and cultural representations of war.
- The poetics and historiography of war.
- The forms in which writers and artists of all kinds and in all literary and creative genres (historical accounts, essays, biographies, autobiographies, fiction, poetry, theatre, film, and the arts) have chosen to reactivate, (re)write, (re)construct, and commemorate the past in their work, or have used writing and/or other media as commemorative practices.
- The artistic objectification of memory and its relationship with the results of historiography transmitted, among other means, through school textbooks.
- The construction of meaning and identity in the context of war via the medium of artistic and historical representation.
- How current representations of war and conflicts in cultural products (written, oral and visual) impact on the development of present-day relations between different nations and ethnic groups in Europe.
- The analysis of the instruments of 'memory-building' that serve political or ideological purposes.
Papers should be presented in English, and should last no longer than 20 minutes. Ample allowance will be made for discussion of the papers. Audio and video equipment will be on hand.
The standard conference fee is 100 euros / 400 PLN. The fee covers refreshments, conference facilities, and the accompanying social programme, including a visit to the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising. 
Early-bird rate (registration before 30th June 2012): 80 euros / 320 PLN.
Postgraduate concessionary rate: 60 euros / 240 PLN.
Accommodation will be in Warsaw University residences at reduced rates.
Four sessions will focus on the following themes:
Session 1: 'War, memory and the visual arts'
Session 2: 'National historiographies’
Session 3: 'Rewriting history through fiction'
Session 4: 'Transcultural Memory in the twentieth century’
Among additional attractions, there will be a showing of relevant audio-visual material, including art works, film and music.
Keynote speakers
Our keynote speakers will be Professor Jay Winter (author of Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History and Remembering War: The Great War between Memory and History in the 20th Century); Professor Norman Davies (author of numerous books on Europe and the Second World War) tbc; and Professor Barbara Szacka (author of numerous books on collective memory).
Proposals should be submitted in English including the name, contact details and institutional affiliation (where relevant) of the proposer. This should be followed by a brief abstract of the proposed paper (300 words max.).
The deadline for sending your proposal will be 30th November 2011.
Decisions on acceptance of papers will be made by 15 March 2012.
It is intended to publish the proceedings of the conference in a peer-reviewed publication with an internationally-recognised publisher.
Conference Organisers: Professor Jozef Niznik (PAN IFIS), Professor Urszula Jarecka (PAN IFIS), and Dr Peter Tame (QUB).
For more information please write to: [email protected]
Dr Peter Tame
French StudiesS
School of Languages, Literature and Performing Arts
Queen's University
10 University Square
Belfast BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland.
Telephone (work): 00 44 (0)28 9097 3875
E-mail address: [email protected]