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Cultural Literacy in Contemporary Europe - 1st Workshop: Remembering and Forgetting

Location London, United Kingdom
Date 14 - 16 December 2009
Calendar file .vcs  .ics

Cultures remember both through oral communication and through other artefacts which often cross the division between the public and the private domain.

Objects known to historians as ‘ego-documents’ are first-person witnesses ranging from court records or auto/biographies to letters and diaries; these not only reveal what has been preserved but also expose gaps in recorded events.

In the public domain, sites of memory, from graveyards and museums to roadside posies, mark ways of recalling that may be very temporary. Within families, communities or individuals, remembrance may focus on made or conserved objects, but it also inheres in the body and the psyche – the most painful memories often pass encrypted, as psychoanalysis has it, from generation to generation.

Theory in this field has developed rapidly in the last and the present century in the light both of vast political events and of a new spirit of understanding the everyday, experienced ‘from below’. This field is studied by researchers who have adapted methods taken from literary studies into other modes of marking the passage of time through the human mind. The workshop will aim both to articulate new research questions in this area and to outline their policy relevance.

Other broad issues to be examined include:

  • The truth of memory: fact and fiction
  • Regimes of memory: spaces, texts, objects, bodies
  • Trauma and memory
  • The politics and ethics of memory; the ‘right to remember’


  • Paul Connerton, Cambridge, UK
  • Robert Crawshaw, Lancaster, UK
  • Paulo de Medeiros, Utrecht, NL
  • Judit Friedrich, Budapest, HU
  • Alicia Garcia Ruíz, Barcelona, ES
  • Christian Ghillebaert, Paris, FR
  • Sibel Irzik, Sabanci, TU
  • Tatjana Jukić, Zagreb, HR
  • Alexander Kiossev, Sofia, BG
  • Daniela Koleva, Sofia, BG
  • Tanja Petrović, Slovenian Academy, SI
  • Katia Pizzi, IGRS, UK
  • Susannah Radstone, UEL, UK
  • Victoria Reid, Glasgow, UK
  • Hugh Roberts, Exeter, UK
  • Naomi Segal, IGRS, UK
  • Lars-Håkan Svensson, Linköping, SE
  • Ricarda Vidal, IGRS, UoL, UK

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Initiative Chaired by

Dr. Marc Caball
University College, Dublin, IE

Prof. Naomi Segal
IGRS, University of London, UK

Workshop Chaired by

Prof Daniela Koleva
University of Sofia, BG

Prof Naomi Segal
IGRS, University of London, UK

Steering Committee

Prof Leopoldina Fortunati
University of Udine, IT

Prof Margaret Kelleher
National University of Ireland, Maynooth, IE

Prof Daniela Koleva
University of Sofia, BG

Prof Ulrike Landfester
University of St Gallen, CH

Prof Lea Rojola
University of Turku, FI

Prof Sibel Irzik
Sabanci University, TR

Contact Information

Francesca Boscolo
Science Officer
COST Office
Avenue Louise 149
B-1050 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 533 3830