Revisionist Histories: Memory and Forgetting
A Panel Discussion
at the Eighth International Literature and Humanities Conference,
INSCRIPTIONS '05: an arts and culture conference and festival
at Eastern Mediterranean University
in Famagusta, on the island of Cyprus
May 12th - 13th, 2005
“Reading… is a belated and all-but-impossible act, and if
strong is always a  misreading. […] The strong reader,
whose readings will matter to others as well as to 
himself, is thus placed in the dilemmas of the revisionist,
who wishes to find his own original relation to truth,
whether in texts or in reality (which he treats as texts 
anyway), but also wishes to open received texts to his
own sufferings, or what he wants to call the sufferings of history”
(Harold Bloom, A Map of Misreading [Oxford, 1975], pp. 3-4).
“All history… must more or less blindly encounter the problem of
a transferential relation to the past whereby the processes at work
in the object of study acquire their displaced analogues in the
historian’s account”
(Dominick LaCapra, History & Criticism [Cornell, 1985], p. 11). 
Representations of history are so unstable that to maintain their
mimetic force, their (experienced or constructed) links with
land and people, with the real, they must constantly be reinforced
by political decisions enforcing closure and limiting the proliferation
of meanings. Fear, acknowledged or not, of the wantonness
of language—of the play of words, of the potential loss of
the real—underlies every national history textbook and every
state education system, and to maintain the presence of the real,
this fear is inscribed, either explicitly or implicitly, on the memories
and memorials of every nation: I will not forget! 
Submissions exploring the relation between the real and its
representations are invited for a Panel Discussion on the
textual-historiographical processes by which the presence
of “lived experience” is maintained as such or reconfigured
in literature/texts/acts by historical agents and historians.
(While it is not the specific focus of this panel, we also
welcome presentations of this nature regarding the island of Cyprus,
the venue of our discussion—a critical, generative space where
the criteria and parameters of “truth” and historical representation
have always been politically and emotionally charged; and where
the inscription of a question mark may have the force
of a critical interpolation.)

                Some possible topic areas (others are welcome):
—cultural amnesia and creations of fictionalized identity
—history as narrative/literature: White, de Certeau, Rancière
—hermeneutic ripples: reconstruction/construction/deconstruction
—theological models of history: between Löwith and Blumenberg
—universalism, particularism and problems of relation in history
—trauma, repression and transference in history (LaCapra)
—redemption/eschatology/teleology: the end of history
    (Fukuyama, Niethammer)
—periodization and problems of origin and destiny
—Feyerabend, Bachelard, Kuhn, Popper, and paradigms of
    scientific progress
—history and/as system, progress, reason, freedom, anarchy
—historical intentionality: Barthes, Foucault, Derrida
—race, class, gender, nation, and narration
—the conception of history in Jena Romanticism
—modern historical time: the Annales historians
—history and the public sphere: Arendt, Habermas, Cottereau
—“New Historicism”: intersections between history and literature
—Lyotard’s “postmodern condition” and historical
    “grand narratives”
—microhistories: Alltagsgeschichte (Medick) and
    microstoria (Ginzburg, Poni)
—rethinking social categories and organizations: Kocka,
    Wehler, Grendi, Levi
—Walter Benjamin, history, and aesthetics
—politics and intellectual history: Pocock, Skinner, Koselleck
—history and symbols: Hunt, Furet, Ozouf, Agulhon, Sewell
—epistemological/prescriptive validity and truth: history as
—history, culture, system: Geertz, Weber, Bourdieu, Passeron,
    Cerutti, Luhmann
—new technologies and the recording/framing of history
—the persistence of memory: the work of Pierre Nora and Henry Rousso
—historiographical forensics: evidence and exemplarity 
Prospective panelists are invited to send 250-word abstracts/proposals
for 15-20 minute presentations on any aspect of these areas to
[log in to unmask] by 11th February, 2005. 
I look forward to learning about your research,
and to a provocative discussion.
For more information about INSCRIPTIONS '05,
please visit our website at
Please also check out our links to "Individual Research Presentations"
and "Creative/Performance Work."
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