>From: "\"Sabine Lucia M¸ller\"" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: CFP: (Contingent) Iterations.
>Performative Correspondences of Memory and
>Gender (Germany) (5/22/06; 11/3/06-11/4/06)
>CfP: (Contingent) Iterations. Performative Correspondences of Memory and
>Conference Organisers: Sabine Lucia M¸ller (Berlin), Anja Schwarz (Berlin)
>Date, Place: 03.-04.11.2006, Freie Universitaet Berlin
>Deadline: 22.05.2006/ 09.10.2006
>Over the past 15 years, ëMemoryí, ëCommemorationí, and ëForgettingí have
>become vital concepts in the humanities. They have been discussed from
>national as well as transnational perspectives across a wide range of
>disciplines. In roughly the same time span, the notion of ëGenderí has
>received similarly augmented interdisciplinary attention, eventually leading
>to the conceptís academic institutionalisation in a number of countries.
>However, possible analogies between ëmemoryí and ëgender studiesí are not
>exhausted by such institutional parallels: the notion of performativity ñ
>central to contemporary discussions of gender ñ provides a perspective on
>the construction of social identities which can be made equally productive
>for the study of collective and/or cultural memory. This conference
>therefore seeks to bring together studies of memory and gender under the
>shared theoretical framework of performativity. It is hoped that from this
>perspective, analogies in the theorisation of memory and gender will both
>become apparent and prove productive for the future conceptualisation of
>Performative ëcorrespondencesí of Gender and Memory:
>Judith Butlerís 1990 publication Gender Trouble polarised Gender Studies in
>the 1990s. Drawing upon Michel Foucaultís writings, Butler conceptualises
>the subject and its gender identity as an effect of precisely those
>discourses which presuppose its existence. In spite of this
>anti-essentialist stance however, her approach also runs counter to those
>varieties of constructivism which regard gender as nothing but an arbitrary
>effect of singular performative acts. Instead, Butler theorises gender
>identity as the outcome of reiterated practices which, rather than
>predetermining the subject, confer onto the subject a position from which
>its actions become socially legible.
>Contemporary studies of memory(-politics) have likewise posited the
>importance of iterative practices for commemorative acts. The notion of
>memory, introduced to the humanities through the work of Warburg, Halbwachs,
>Nora and Jan and Aleida Assmann amongst others, is concerned with the
>construction of (collective) identities through memory practices. These
>share a number of characteristics with Butlerís notion of gender as the
>product of reiterated performances:
>a) Memory is no longer conceptualised as the activity of autarchic subjects.
>Rather, the identity of remembering subjects is produced through/in
>commemorative acts which (always already) presuppose their existence.
>b) Collective memories depend upon continual reiterations in order to attain
>formative social relevance.
>c) These repetitions are not necessarily (always already) felicitous and
>identical with one another but rather to be conceptualised as
>re-constructions in specific contexts.
>d) Both performative acts of memory and constructions of gender resort to a
>theoretically infinite archive of possible (commemorative and
>gender-productive) operations. Only a limited number of these can be made
>productive in the respective context shaped by formations of
>Envisioning the functioning of memory and gender as analogously performative
>processes opens up a number of inventive questions on possible relationships
>between the two concepts:
>- In which ways do specific politics of memory and commemoration contribute
>to the perpetuation of social structures favouring specific gender
>- How can theories of gender be applied or expanded to a critique of the
>politics of history and memory?
>- Which possibilities and conditions for the representation of gender and
>memory can be defined?
>- In this context, what would be the significance of the materiality of
>bodies and places?
>- Which options for as well as which limitations of agency may be outlined
>by theorising both gender and memory as performative?
>- How can we describe the relation of individual, gendered memory and
>self-fashioning to collective acts of memory, commemoration and subject
>constitution? Which limitations might acts of memory impose on the creation
>of the gendered subject? And, vice versa, how may individual subjects
>possibly be involved in regulating acts of memory, as a result of their
>gendering and the range of identificatory positions available to them?
>In pursuing this approach, the conference will explore the structural
>analogy of current theorisations of gender and memory, assessing both its
>potential and its limitations. Its main interest, therefore, lies neither in
>a historical reconstruction of gender nor in providing a corrective to
>historiographic perspectives on gender identities.
>The interdisciplinary workshop is designed to initiate and facilitate an
>exchange on these and similar questions, particularly on a PhD and post-doc
>level. Speakers from abroad may be partly reimbursed (travel costs,
>accommodation fees) where applicable, not exceeding an amount of Ä 200. An
>essay collection based on the workshop will be published in 2007.
>Proposals for papers (c. 500 words) are due 22 May 2006. Please enclose a
>brief academic CV. Accepted papers should be completed by 9 October 2006.
>They will be circulated, to speakers only, on that date, so as to intensify
>Please send any inquiries and abstracts via email to both organisers.
>Sabine Lucia Mueller
>Institut f¸r Englische Philologie
>Freie Universitaet Berlin
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