Annual Conference


Memory and Movement

Call for Papers

(Deadline for abstracts: April 15)

Memory and Movement

6th Annual Graduate Center for Literary Research Interdisciplinary Conference

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Wallis Annenberg Conference Room (SSMS 4315)

The study of memory has developed dynamically, transculturally, transnationally, and through ongoing scientific and sociohistorical discoveries and changes. This year, in collaboration with UCSB’s Memory Studies Reading Group, the Graduate Center for Literary Research (GCLR) invites proposals that examine the interplay between memory and movement through a wide range of perspectives and disciplines. How does memory guide forms of movement, and how does movement affect memory? How do we balance progress and preservation? How does memory represent or redefine historical, social, and political movements? How do scientific and digital developments preserve, alter, or reconstruct memory?

We welcome submissions from across the disciplines of the humanities. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Memory and migration
  • Memory, displacement, diaspora
  • Memory, activism, agency
  • Mobility justice and memory
  • Collective memory, individual memory, shared memory, transgenerational trauma
  • Memory and the Anthropocene
  • Movement of memory in world literature and culture
  • Memory in local and/or global frameworks
  • Movement of memory across borders – national, cultural, social, physical
  • Dynamic relationship among past, present, and future
  • Memory, emotion, and affect
  • Cognitive neuroscience and memory
  • Embodied memory
  • Memorial processes and performances
  • Mediated memory
  • Memory in a digital age

Interested graduate students should submit a 250-word abstract and a short bio, along with any questions, to GCLR Student Coordinator Dalia Bolotnikov Mazur ( by Monday, April 15th. Advanced undergraduate students are also encouraged to apply.

Keynote Speaker

Michael Rothberg is the 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. His latest book is The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (2019), which is being published by Stanford University Press in their “Cultural Memory in the Present” series. Previous books include Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009), Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (2000), and, co-edited with Neil Levi, The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings (2003). With Yasemin Yildiz, he is currently completing Inheritance Trouble: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance for Fordham University Press.

The keynote address will be on "The Implicated Subject: Art, Activism, and Historical Responsibility." Arguing that the familiar categories of victim, perpetrator, and bystander do not adequately account for our connection to injustices past and present, Michael Rothberg offers a new theory of historical responsibility through the figure of the implicated subject. Implicated subjects occupy positions aligned with power and privilege without being themselves direct agents of harm; they contribute to, inhabit, inherit, or benefit from regimes of domination but do not originate or control such regimes. Drawing on his forthcoming book The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (Stanford UP, 2019), Rothberg will discuss examples of implication taken from different national contexts, including South Africa and the United States, and from different social realms, including art and activism. The lecture will illustrate how the position of the implicated subject can offer a lens for addressing different scales and temporalities of injustice, but can also provide a lever for rethinking resistance and solidarity across social location.

Schedule of Events

9:30-10:00: Coffee & Breakfast

10:00-10:15: Opening Remarks

John Majewski, Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts

10:15-11:15: Questioning Memory: Science, Technology, and Narratives in Motion

Chair: Trinankur Banerjee (UCSB, Film & Media Studies)

Aili Pettersson Peeker (UCSB, English)

“Moving Past the Narrative Self: Metaphors of Memory in Beckett and Neuroscience”

Elizabeth Chen (Chapman University, English and Creative Writing)

“Making the Asian American Identity Belong Through Digital Discourse”

Elena Festa (UCSB, Comparative Literature)

“Digital Cultural Remembering”

11:30-12:30: Performing Memory: Recollection and Recognition through Literature and Art

Chair: Dustin Lovett (UCSB, Comparative Literature)

Margarita Delcheva (UCSB, Comparative Literature)

“Aesthetic Memory: Poetry, Witness, and the Early Childhood Self”

Kio Griffith (UCSB, Art)

“‘Coral Sea’: The Unheroic Battle and the Surrender of Abandoned Youth”

12:30-1:30: Lunch

1:30-2:45: Keynote Address by Michael Rothberg, 1939 Society Samuel Goetz Chair in Holocaust Studies and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA

“The Implicated Subject: Art, Activism, and Historical Responsibility”

3:00-4:15: Memories of Destruction: Disaster, Resistance, Healing

Chair: Olga Blomgren (UCSB, Black Studies Dissertation Scholar)

Meaghan Baril (UCSD, Literature)

“Nostalgia and Apocalypse: The Eschatological Import of Race in Parable of the Sower and A Canticle for Leibowitz

Sebaah Hamad (UCSB, Comparative Literature)

“Continuous Mourning, Trauma, and Normalized Chaos in The Fifth Season

Linshan Jiang (UCSB, East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies)

“Transcending Trauma: Women’s War Memories in Literature among Mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan”

Coralie de Mazancourt (UCLA, French & Francophone Studies)

“Healing the Memory of the Dictatorship in Evelyne Trouillot’s La mémoire aux abois

4:30-5:30: Sites of Memory: Rethinking History through Space

Chair: Wendy Sun (UCSB, Comparative Literature)

Alexandra Noi (UCSB, History)

“Sites of Conscience in a Landscape of Cosmopolitan Memory: Case of Perm-36”

Angelica N. Garcia (UC Merced, Interdisciplinary Humanities)

“California and Colorado in the Twentieth Century: History, Memory, and Labor Activism in the Agricultural, Canning, and Coal Mining Industries”

Penny Yeung (Rutgers University, Comparative Literature)

“Writing Maps and Cities: Theorizing Histor(icit)y in Dung Kai-Cheung’s Atlas and Visible Cities

5:30-6:00: Reception