The Dynamic Constitution of Cultural Memory: (Re)Mediation and Aesthetic-Social Practices

Ute Seydel
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Call for Papers

Since the last decades of the twentieth century, academic research has shown a growing interest in different aspects of cultural memory. Several theoretical studies have been published on its dynamic constitution that address, among other topics, the strategies of pre- and remediation (for example, Erll/Nünning, eds., 2008; Erll/Rigney, eds., 2009). Other theorists (for example, Didi-Huberman, 2009; Garramuño, 2015) have explored the limits of discursive (re) construction of the past and highlight the presence of residues, rests and vestiges in contemporary societies that destabilize canonical symbolic representations of cultural memory. These vestiges of residual images form a kind of archive that defies consensual versions of cultural memory.

At the end of the 20th century, in Latin America a vast multi-media production had incorporated the problem of State terrorism in the cultural memory, while in the new millennium, it is reformulated again under the impact of enforced disappearances, violent evictions, executions and torture that take place within the framework of the war on drug, necropolitics and gore capitalism. Human rights violations and crimes against humanity now occur in Latin America in the context of the exploitation of natural resources, the battle for water, and the struggle of environmental groups and indigenous peoples for the preservation of the environment.

Resistance, mass migrations and exiles as a result of the violence and persecution suffered are articulated in discourses of memory, fictional and nonfictional, in visual culture and in social practices. As some representations point out, current violence is frequently used against peasants and native peoples who were also victims of counterinsurgency repression a few decades earlier, such as the Mapuche in Chile, the Maya in Central America, or the peasants of the state of Guerrero in Mexico. Likewise, plastic artists, photographers, filmmakers and writers have been representing neo-imperialist interventions in various media, thus contributing to the creation of a transcontinental cultural memory of the so-called global South.

We invite you to present articles that, on one hand, critically analyze the theoretical approaches presented in recent years about the constitution of cultural memory and its limits and, on the other, articles that study the contribution to the cultural memory that emblematic symbolic representations, as well as aesthetic and social practices, make in regard to the above mentioned subjects.

This call includes the study of various media (digital, audiovisual or printed), fictional or non-fictional discourses, as well as visual culture and various interventions in the public space (scratches, performances, etc.). In this regard, it will be intriguing to study also the transmedia relations that tend either to stabilize or question existing versions about the past.

The following topics are suggested as possible thematic strands:

  1. Review of theoretical approaches to cultural memory
  2. Vestiges and remains of the past as a challenge to cultural memory
  3. Memories in resistance in the context of necropolitics
  4. Migration, forced disappearance and displacement
  5. (Neo) imperialist interventions
  6. Commemorative spaces and permanent and ephemeral memory sites

We invite you to submit abstracts before October 15, 2017 and academic articles before April 30, 2018. Scholarly articles should be approximately 5,000 to 7,000 words, including endnotes. Reviews of single works should have a maximum of 800 words; reviews that compare two or more works may be up to 1,500 words.

The texts must be submitted in Spanish, English or Portuguese and must include an abstract and a biographical note of 100 words. To consult the editorial guidelines, visit the website: http://alternativas.osu.edu/es/guidelines.html

Texts should be sent in Word format to: Ute Seydel, seydel.alternativas@gmail.com