Call for Papers: Imperial Sites of Memory

November 28, 2010

Imperial Sites of Memory

A conference to be held at the University of St Andrews Friday, 2 September 2011 – Saturday, 3 September 2011

Proposals of 200-300 words (for 20 min papers) together with a two-page CV may be sent by email to Frank Lorenz Mller (

The deadline for proposals is 15 March 2011.

In the wake of the Industrial Revolution several metropolitan powers began projecting their scientific, cultural, religious, commercial, geopolitical and military interests into what they perceived as a colonial periphery beyond Europe. The commemoration of numerous salient experiences associated with this myriad-faced phenomenon emerged as one of the hallmarks of the political culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Memory, crystallised in discrete Sites of Memory or Lieux de Memoire (Pierre Nora), became a prominent part of narratives that were constructed to generate support for political aims and certain cultural practices (but sometimes ended up inviting dissent). It also helped to form rituals and a rhetoric that sought to exalt the particular calling and distinctiveness of individual nations (yet frequently reflected a shared, transnational pattern).

As Imperial Sites of Memory inevitably arose from situations of encounter between metropolitan agents and individuals, groups on the one hand and societies indigenous to the areas targeted by imperial expansion on the other, the memory with which they are bound up was often bifurcated. Investigating these sites will therefore involve questions of their symmetry and asymmetry, of how they were constructed amongst the colonisers and the colonised and of their different effects and durations on both sides of the imperial relationship.

To read more about this cfp and others, click on Call for Papers.

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