Call For Papers

Date: November 3, 2017
Location: York University, Toronto [map]
Organizers: Duygu Gül Kaya, Michael Nijhawan, Daphne Winland & Jenny Wüstenberg

As part of Canada 150+ initiatives at York University to mark the 150th anniversary of the Confederation, we invite you to submit a paper abstract for a one-day workshop titled “Unsettling Canada at 150: Memory Discourses in Transnational Contexts.” The aim of the workshop is twofold: (1) we want to take stock of the emerging role of memory in transnational fields, as they are shaped by institutional processes (such as international politics and jurisdiction), human rights discourses, and a multiplicity of social practices by groups and communities that trace a history of migration, violence and displacement. (2) Moreover, we are concerned with the “Canadian dimension” of memory discourse, insofar as in the current political climate of “righting historical wrongs,” issues that predominantly relate to the trans-generational impact of laws, policies and institutions of the Canadian state in regards to indigenous peoples, official memory discourse has long served a colonial project of state formation. In 2017, how are these legacies challenged and how do social actors engaged in transnational memory (politics) relate to these changing configurations of Canadian memory discourse, now pronounced by the government of Canada as a part of a project of decolonization?

Applicants should consider and reflect on their work in relation to these changing dynamics of memory discourse and cultural citizenship pertaining to Canada and beyond.  Case studies might include, but are not limited to, the role of transnational groups and social actors, the global dissemination of memory discourses, be they institutionally anchored or grassroots, localized projects. We are especially interested in discussions that navigate between national and transnational, political and literary, affirmative and critical perspectives of the normative, hegemonic role of memory narratives. Building on our own interdisciplinary approach to these issues, we seek to engage in a debate with panellists on transnational memories and cultural citizenship with the aim to contribute to the broader scholarship on memory, violence, citizenship and social identities.

We invite scholars at the junior and senior level as well as graduate students whose work falls into the area transnational memory broadly conceived, and who are able to ground their discussion in relation to Canadian discourses, practices, policies and case studies to submit a 250-word abstract to unsettlingcanada150@gmail.com by April 25, 2017.

Please note that the conference will take place on Friday, November 3, 2017 at York University and will include refreshments, lunch and informal dinner for all workshop participants. We will be in touch about the format of the workshop, as well as the dates when papers are to be pre-circulated. Domestic/North-American travel and two-days accommodation expenses will be covered for selected participants.