A burgeoning, cross-disciplinary “memory boom” has highlighted the significance of memories of the past for the present and future. In this context, this interdisciplinary, workshop-based summer school explores the timely, yet under-addressed themes of memories and histories ‘at the margins’ and specifically focuses on the theoretical and methodological challenges associated with research that engages with such ‘marginal’ voices. We invite PhD researchers from all disciplines working with such memories, voices and histories ‘at the margins’ to apply for the “Voices at the Margins?” summer school, which is taking place from 20 to 24 September 2021 at the University of Brighton.
‘At the margins’ is a phrase we have adopted here to refer to the multifarious forms of experiences and spaces that have traditionally remained at the periphery of public and scholarly attention. Such ‘margins’ can be the result of power dynamics that under-recognise, marginalise, exclude, silence and/or oppress specific groups or members of society. Additionally, voices, memories and histories can also be located at the peripheries of societal discourses as they are or have become unacceptable in respective dominant political and cultural contexts that foster the circulation of some ideas and stories over others. Yet, while some agents are forced to the ‘margins’, others choose to locate or remain there. With this summer school we want to challenge the problematic and universalist assumptions of ‘giving’ voice to the ‘unheard’ or ‘voiceless,’ by raising questions about who ‘they’ are, who ‘hears’ and does not ‘hear’ them, and why. In this context, we invite participants to reflect on notions of ‘marginality’ in their own work and how this affects the methodologies and theories they develop in their own study of cultural memory.
In this sense, the workshops that make up this summer school offer PhD researchers space to critically engage with the specific theoretical and methodological challenges in their research in a constructive and supportive environment. The workshops will offer rich opportunities for in-depth discussions of participants’ own research, as well as for an exploration of new state-of-the-art theoretical and methodological approaches in the field, based on participants’ needs and interests. To do so, the summer school will evolve around the following four key components:
1) Research workshops based on participants’ research on memories, histories and voices ‘at the margins’: Participants will be asked to submit papers for discussion in advance and to present them during the workshop.
2) Workshops on cultural memory theory and methodology related to ‘voices at the margins’ led by the organisers, which will evolve around themes, topics and issues of interest to the participants
Examples: Difficulties of ‘hearing’/‘seeing’ in the archive, in (oral history) interviews and in exhibitions; entrapments between transnational/global and local/community histories/memories; research ethics when working with ‘voices at the margins’; emotions in memory/history research on sensitive topics
These are, however, just some examples. In order to design workshops that are relevant to your research process, we would like to know your interests and needs when it comes to theoretical and methodological approaches to researching ‘voices at the margins’. Therefore, applicants are asked to submit a short description of themes, topics and issues they would like to explore with the application.
3) A keynote lecture [TBA] on theories and/or methodologies of researching ‘marginal voices’
4) An excursion to an exhibition [TBA]: The visit will be an opportunity to reflect on how voices can be used, displayed, interpreted, represented and/or marginalised in exhibition displays.
To apply for the summer school, please send your application to email@example.com by 19 April 2021. The application should include:
1) An abstract of ca. 500 words:
Introduce the aspect(s) of your research you would like to present and explore with us, including the challenges/difficulties you have been facing in the research process. This can, of course, also be work-in-progress.
2) A short description of themes, issues and topics related to memories, histories and voices ‘at the margins’, both theoretical and methodological, you would like to explore with us in the workshops
3) A short bio
The deadline for applications is 19 April 2021. You will be informed about your acceptance in early May. You will be asked to submit your written papers approximately 1-2 months before the summer school so that we can circulate them among participants.
We are currently planning the summer school as an offline face-to-face event at the University of Brighton, potentially with some hybrid elements. Should the Covid-19 situation not allow us to proceed with these plans, the event will take place online.
Accommodation is self-organised; techne students can reclaim their expenses from techne. Please state in your application if you are a techne student.
We look forward to receiving your applications and learning more about your research!
Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
For further information, visit: voicesatmargins.wordpress.com