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Message posted on 17/06/2018

CfP POEM Opening Conference "Participatory Memory Practices: Connectivities, Empowerment, and Recognition of Cultural Heritages in Mediatized Memory Ecologies." (13.-14.12.2018)

Call for Papers: POEM Opening Conference

Participatory Memory Practices: Connectivities, Empowerment, and Recognition
of Cultural Heritages in Mediatized Memory Ecologies

Date: 13.-14.12.2018

Place: Museum der Arbeit, Hamburg / Germany

Proposal Deadline: 15.09.2018


Diverging forces across European societies - most visible in both the
contemporary nationalist movements and Islamist radicalization - place
particular relevance on social and cultural inclusion. Culture may cultivate
both integrative and disruptive forces; in this light heritage experts, policy
makers, social entrepreneurs, and other facilitators are seeking to establish
inclusive memory politics for envisioning possible futures of how we should
remember our past in Europe. The recognition of difficult and dissonant
traditions and the contestation of public memory in respect to the
representation of colonial traditions and immigration, multiculturalism and
transnational history, non-Christian religious heritages in European
societies, female heritages, or the inclusion of deprived groups are important
issues in this debate. Being part of the public memory is crucial for
envisioning positive futures, acknowledging peoples and groups history,
identity, belonging, and membership. Furthermore, questions of eligibility
play an important role in relation to public support or redemption, for
partaking in economic outcomes, or in relation to questions on ownership of
cultural heritage resources.

Participatory memory work (PMW) is a framework for examining the strategies
and practices of public memory institutions - libraries, archives, and museums
- as well as of individuals and groups in their everyday life. PMW means the
inclusion of diverse memories across social situations (gender, socio-economic
status, education, migration, etc.) into public memory work. It means to
acknowledge these diverse memories as a significant part of the history, the
heritage, and the contemporary life in Europe. Aiming for a socially inclusive
public memory, concepts of European cultural citizenship are increasingly
debated and experimented widely with participatory approaches in public memory
institutions. At the same time, new memory ecologies have emerged with
networked media infrastructures and their extensive uses, in mediatized,
globally connected societies. The Internet and social media are natural
parts of self-representation, marketing, or audience communication of public
memory institutions; large scale digital heritage initiatives demarcate the
transformation activities towards digital cultural production.

However, the participatory turn in memory work, essential for a socially
inclusive public memory, turns out to be not as easy to implement in practice.
Aside from the established memory institutions, people and groups explore
Internet platforms for commemoration and sharing personal texts, photos, or
videos and collaboratively contribute to an emergence of open access
archives of everyday life. The diverse platforms, e.g. YouTube, Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., broadly attract people and groups for
contributing cultural materials, articulating their views of history/histories
and enfolding personal and group-related memory practices. Even though they
are public, these Internet archives are beyond the scope of public memory
politics and institutions; they are run for economic purposes in private
ownership. The accessibility of these archives is regulated by business
models and remains unclear towards the future. Connecting personal and
group-related memory work in the public to participatory memory politics is
thus confronted with legal and economic obstacles, ethical issues, as well as
with discontinuities and gaps of individual and institutional social practices
of memory work. This highlights the changed technical, organizational, and
legal modalities of doing participatory memory work for social inclusive
memory politics.

The call invites contributions on how the various developments in memory work
can be brought together for facilitating participatory memory practices. How
do memory practices of stakeholders overlap? Which connectivities can be built
across individual and institutional practices of memory work? How do media
matter for connecting different memory practices across people and groups as
well as institutions? How can empowerment become an integral factor in public
memory work? What modes of recognition and inclusion are adequate? How can
they be organised to develop their full potential for envisioning European
futures? How does this affect the making and unmaking of heritage? What
competences do people and groups need for making their particular traditions
relevant in the public memory? How can private and shared memories of a group
on the Internet be collected and integrated in public memory institutions?

The conference addresses a multidisciplinary and international group of
scholars and experts from memory institutions, civil society, policy makers,
social entrepreneurs, the coding community, and creative industries.

Proposals should not exceed a length of 600 words and include bios of max. 200
words. Please send your proposal until September 15th 2018 to

POEM has received funding from the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and
innovation programme under grant agreement No 764859.


University of Hamburg

POEM H2020 project

Prof. Dr. Gertraud Koch (POEM Coordinator)

c/o Institute of European Ethnology/Cultural Anthropology

Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1 | 20146 Hamburg | Germany

phone: +49 (0)40 42838-6515


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