Mnenomics Seminar “Aesthetics and Ethics of Memory”

Mnenomics Seminar “Aesthetics and Ethics of Memory”

Event date: 20-22 September 2012
Location: Aarhus, Denmark

For the inaugural seminar of Mnemonics: Network for Memory Studies, a newly established international collaborative initiative for graduate education in memory studies, we invite paper proposals from graduate students on the relations between the aesthetics and ethics of memory.

Aesthetics and ethics often intersect in relation to the representation of collective memories, especially those of disturbing events or experiences. While decorum is naturally called for in addressing a traumatic past, it can also be argued, from an ethical standpoint, that traumatic memories must be represented in a compelling and unforgettable manner. Representational strategies thus have to find a balance between being ineffectual and irrelevant and being potentially offensive and provoking.

At the seminar a number of questions following from the main theme will be discussed:

  • What are the limits of representation?
  • How do certain forms and practices challenge these limits?
  • How is this reflected in memory politics?
  • Do the limits differ from medium to medium, e.g. from a public monument to a film or a text?
  • Are there practices connected to memory that highlight relations between aesthetics and ethics?

We welcome case studies that reflect on the relation between memory and form, and papers that investigate how different media and cultural artifacts approach these aesthetic and ethical questions.

Full CFP available on the Mnemonics website.