CFP – ISA 2015

Remembrance from the Forgotten


“Collective” Memory is increasingly seen as a fundamental topic of International Politics and Security Studies. Scholars all around the globe have turned to the ways societies commemorate (civil) wars, conflicts and different instances of political violence in order to understand processes of reconciliation, re-democratization and the relationship between sovereignty and resistance. Trauma, a fundamental concept of “Collective” Memory has also been brought up to comprehend the nefarious realities of the aftermath. Although this turn to memory should be celebrated as enriching the field, it is still highly problematic. However fortunate the equation of memory, trauma and politics might be, its appliance has yet to overcome a particular geo-political bias. Remembrance is still conceptualized customarily in a way that poses the West as the locus of unbearable trauma, signifying some of the most gruesome events of the 20th century as mere repetitions of a radical, originary evil. This not only de-historicizes the European experience, but promotes a systematic forgetting of painful non-western experiences that could help to overcome western modes of thought. This Panel proposes to question the current (geo)politics of memory in International Studies by bringing up instances of remembrance from the “forgotten” parts of the World – Inside and outside the West.

We welcome, in this perspective, contributions that focus on, but are not restricted to:

  •          Non-western conceptualizations of trauma
  •          The relation between (in)security and commemoration
  •         Remembrance of largely “forgotten” Wars and Conflicts
  •         Theoretical contributions on “counter-memory”, “memoro-politics” and “hauntology”
  •         How the notions of absence, displacement and repression relate to the political
  •         How historically and contextualized forms of memorialisation appropriate “universal” discourses

Abstracts (no more of 200 words)


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