Tuesday, April 4, 2017

AHM Conference 2017
Materialities of Postcolonial Memory

7 -9 December 2017
University of Amsterdam

Call for Papers
 As questions of racism are prominent in public debate, the colonial and slavery pasts represent more than ever key sites of both social encounter and contestation. The fields of heritage and memory studies, however, have been slow to respond to these urgent issues. This conference engages with these debates through the lens of materiality, broadly understood. Our understanding of materiality encompasses, on the one hand, the enduring, ruinous effects of colonialism around the globe, its often unarticulated material traces in former metropoles and colonies, as well as the mostly unacknowledged role of migration and displacement. On the other hand, we wish to address the range of interventions, from protest movements to artistic initiatives and museum spaces, which act upon the manifold legacies of past injustices in the present.

Reflecting on the materiality of bodies, objects, sites, ruins, traces and interventions, this international conference examines the awkward, aphasiac and contested memories of colonial and slavery pasts by bringing together scholars from heritage and memory studies, postcolonial and performative studies, critical race studies, archaeology and material culture, art history, archival studies and digital humanities, conflict and identity studies and other areas. We invite scholars to present papers which critically analyse these issues, and especially consider the role of materiality in their case studies. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Decolonizing heritage and memory studies.
  • Contemporary nation-states and transnationalism. 
  • Postcolonial ruination: migration and displacement, prisons, poison, borders.
  • Museums as sites of contestation and issues of repatriation. Materialities of cultural racism and strategies of resistance.
  • Memory interventions and narratives in public spaces.
  • Postcolonial landscapes and cityscapes. 
  • Colonial object biographies and postcolonial agency.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Prof. Ann Stoler (Columbia University); Prof. Lynn Meskell (Stanford University); Prof. Nikita Dhawan (Innsbruck
University); Prof. Wayne Modest (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).

Abstracts for papers or panels (250 words max) including a short biographical statement (150 words max) should be sent to ahmpostcolonialmemory@gmail.com before 1 June 2017. The conference fee is €40 for employed academics and €15 for students. Speakers are expected to arrange accommodation and transport on their own; we will offer suggestions for hotels and other practical information. For more information please visit the conference website: http://www.ahmpostcolonialmemory.humanities.uva.nl.
Organization: Dr. Paul Bijl, Dr. David Duindam, Dr. Ihab Saloul, Dr. Chiara de Cesari
Conference Assistants: Sanne Letschert, Maria Dijkgraaf
This conference is organised with the support of: AHM, ASCA, KITLV, NICA and NwO

Contact Info: 
For questions, registration and submission, please contact the student assistent of the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture of the University of Amsterdam: Sanne Letschert. She is in the conference organisation and has more detailed information on the objectives of the school and the conference. 

Please contact her through ahmpostcolonialmemory@gmail.com.