Memory Studies meets Social Movement Studies – how collective/ collected memories have shaped social movements in past and present

Memory Studies meets Social Movement Studies – how collective/ collected memories have shaped social movements in past and present

Stefan Berger, Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr University Bochum; Christian Koller, Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv, Zurich
Insitute for Social Movements, Clemensstraße 17-19, 44789 Bochum
Vom - Bis
16.06.2020 - 18.06.2020
Institute for Social Movements / Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv

We are interested in papers who are willing to explore the relationship between collective / collected memories and social movements in the modern period from the 18th century to the present day. We are hoping to bring into productive dialogue two fields of studies that are just beginning to explore possible synergies between them. Dennis Bos’s book on the memory of the Paris Commune of 1871, Donatella della Porta’s and her collaborators’ book on memories and legacies in movements, Stefan Berger’s and Sean Scalmer’s forthcoming book on memory and social movements, Ann Rigney’s ERC project on memories of social movements all point to the fruitfulness of exploring how memory functions in relation to social movements. Furthermore, the increasing body of work on memory activism is also highlighting the strong relationship between the work of social movements and memorial landscapes.

Memory studies has so far concentrated massively on so-called traumatic memory that often had to do with national histories and memories and was often related to the history of wars and genocides. Social movement studies not only suffered from an over-concentration on so-called new social movements from the 1970s onwards, lacking a deeper historical perspective, its arsenal of medium-range theories were often informed more by social science theory than by theories from cultural studies. However, things have been changing for a number of years now and it seems to us time to take stock and review what synergies there are between memory studies and social movement studies that include a deeper historical perspective. We would like to hear from you if you have been working on how social movements have been constructing and creating memories of their own work, how specific landscapes of memory have been influencing social movements and how those movements have been using memory as a cultural resource to further their own goals and ambitions.

Please send an abstract of 300 words and a one-page cv to and - deadline: 15 May 2019.



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