Call for papers | International Conference Memory / Archive / Document – Arts and Architecture

[disseminação científica]


Dates and Venue:

8-9 November 2018 – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal

Keynote Speakers:

Andreas Huyssen (Columbia University)
Andrew Benjamin (Kingston University)
Ernst Van Alphen (Leiden University)
Catherine David (Centre Georges Pompidou)

Memory, archive and document are increasingly relevant and prevalent concepts in modern societies. Through re-emergences, re-enactments and re-configurations, memory is pervading daily life and blurring coordinates of time and space to an unprecedented extent. How do Arts and Architecture deal with this? And what is their role in this complex and paradoxical process that sometimes seems to relate the present more to the past than to the future?
As a powerful mechanism that shapes identities and anchors the sense of belonging, and given its intersections with facts and fiction, memory is a longstanding controversial topic among academics. And since archive and document have also become major subjects, different disciplinary fields have contributed to research in order to analyse phenomena that range from politics to architectural and artistic practices. Much has been discussed over the last decades, from the bureaucratic logic of the 19th century archives to the debate on the complex relations between history/memory and individual/collective memories and identities (Halbwachs, Ricoeur, Foucault, Nora, Assmann); from the issues related to post-colonial or gender perspectives (Demos, Pollock) to the problematics of trauma and post-memory (Hirsch).
Arts and Architecture became increasingly aware of the importance played by such topics, particularly since the “archival turn” theorization came to the foreground (Foster, Derrida, Sekulla, among others). Nowadays, memory and archive not only drive a considerable amount of cultural production but are also put into question, perceived both as indispensable tools as well as political instruments to take into account. The shift in our perception of space and time and the “present pasts” contemporary societies seem to nourish (Huyssen), as well as the focus on the documental in contemporary visual practices (Bal), the “rise of the archive” (Alphen), the necessary attention to the politics of relation (A. Benjamin) and how exchanging stories can change History (Kearney), are some key aspects that expand the scope and present-day relevance of this debate.
Privileging architecture and artistic practices, this international conference aims to discuss current academic research across multiple fields, on the cultural uses related to the problematics of memory, archive and document. As so, and favouring different geographical and methodological approaches in order to assess the cross-sectional dimensions of the theme, we welcome proposals for individual papers or session panels.
Topics include, but are not limited to:

  1. artistic practices and visual discourses;
  2. architecture, heritage and public art programs;
  3. the materiality of memory, its discourses and political uses;
  4. narratives/representations from individual and/or collective perspectives;
  5. the role of fiction in contemporary historiography, cultural and memory studies, and artistic practices;
  6. memory, archive and the political dimensions of identity in post-colonial and gender focused artistic practices;
  7. the archive as site of dispute and empowerment;
  8. different uses of documents in the construction of archives and memory.

English and Portuguese.

Submission guidelines:
Individual proposals (20 minutes presentation) should include the following information:

  1. Title of the paper and language (Portuguese, English);
  2. Abstract (max. 300 words);
  3. Name, affiliation, address and email of the contributor;
  4. Short biography of the contributor.

Session panels are welcome. Please, be aware that organizers will consider each paper by its individual merit. Panel contributors should have the following aspects in mind:

  1. Each section should have 3 to 4 speakers (max.), addressing a common theme, in order to form a coherent set of papers;
  2. The person responsible for the panel can be one of the speakers, and has the task of introducing the papers and moderating the discussion;
  3. A panel proposal should include the title of the panel, as well as abstracts and information concerning each one of the speakers (see individual proposals);

Deadline and selection process: 
Proposals for individual papers and thematic sessions should be submitted by 30 June 2018, through this email address:

Selection will be made by the scientific committee, through a double-blind review process. Note of acceptance will be given by 30 July 2018.
A selection of conference papers will later be edited on book, to be published in 2019.


– Museu Calouste Gulbenkian – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
– CFUL – Centro de Filosofia, Universidade de Lisboa/Grupo PRAXIS
– CIC.Digital – Centro de InvestigaçãoemInformação, Comunicação e Cultura Digital / Universidade Nova de Lisboa
– IHA – Instituto de História da Arte / Universidade Nova de Lisboa