The Collapse of Memory – Memory of Collapse: Remembering the Past, Re-Constructing the Future in Periods of Crisis

The Collapse of Memory – Memory of Collapse: Remembering the Past, Re-Constructing the Future in Periods of Crisis

Barbara Törnquist-Plewa (Lund University, Centre for European Studies); Olga Sasunkevich (European Humanities University, Vilnius); Joachim Schiedermair (University of Greifswald); Alexander Drost (Baltic Borderlands, University of Greifswald)
Lund University
Vom - Bis
21.09.2016 - 22.09.2016
Alexander Drost

The Centre for European Studies at Lund University and the International Research Network "Baltic Borderlands: Shifting Boundaries of Mind and Culture in the Borderlands of the Baltic Sea Region”, a collaborative programme between the universities of Lund, Tartu, and Greifswald, invites proposals for conference papers, which discuss how the management of crisis is affected by previous experiences and memories and how crisis, disaster or collapse affect cultural memory and political agency. We are particularly interested in contributions that address how past experiences and knowledge are re-interpreted and employed in order to overcome situations of crisis and collapse. Dealing with and mastering situations of crisis, disaster or the experience of failure depends very much (1) on cultural interpretations of these events, (2) on the epistemic community which stimulates these interpretations, and (3) on the agents who contribute to the construction of possible futures. Against this background, the theorization of collapse/disaster/crisis has to take into account not only the experience itself, but more especially its medialization throughout society (Erll, 2006), and therefore the impact of memory on crisis/collapse/disaster management. Collapse and disaster are universal or global phenomena. However, the perception and construction of an event as collapse and disaster may vary from society to society.
We welcome case studies, which deal with social and cultural responses to social, cultural, political, and economic crises as well as environmental disasters. Contributions may relate to incisive contemporary issues like the current refugee crisis, or the Ukraine-Russian conflict and the regional as well as global responses. However, as current perspectives are rooted in past experiences, we also welcome contributions with a historical perspective as well as papers on historical events, like the tulip crisis in the seventeenth century, the Sepoy Revolt in Delhi in the nineteenth century, or wars in Europe and other parts of the world.

We invite contributions by both early career and senior scholars from the humanities and social sciences. The proposed papers should deal with historical and current events of collapse and disaster. Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words in English and a short biographical note by 25 March 2016 to: waterproj12[at] Applicants will be notified by 25 April 2016.

The conference is organized jointly by researchers from Lund University and the IRTG Baltic Borderlands Network. Further information is available on our website: .

We will fund travel and accommodation for invited speakers.



Dr. Alexander Drost

Department of History, Rubenowstr. 2
D-17489 Greifswald
+49 3834 863341
+49 3834 863333