CFP – Making Individual Memory Visible in the Public Space

Call for Papers – Making Individual Memory Visible in the Public Space
Third ISA Forum
Vienna, Austria, 10-14 July 2016
Host committee: RC38 Biography and Society

Both traditional historical and classical memory narratives were greatly
determined by the recollection of the figure of the hero. National
identities were built around the heroic deeds of the great man who then
served as historical, social and cultural models for the particular
society. Within this process of inscribing the exemplarity of heroes
into collective memory the public space (through its statues, street
names, memorial plaques and other memorial signs) typically played an
essential role. What happens, however, when the everyday man takes over
the urban space?

Both social history and qualitative sociology (especially biographical
research) “discovered” the everyday men behind macro historical events:
these trends cannot imagine the understanding of society without the
understanding of the experiences of the individual.

The proposed session intends to elaborate the relationship of individual
memories and the urban space in the format of a regular session,
focusing on the following questions: How does the biography of everyday
man become articulated in the urban space and how does others’
biographical presentation affect its own? How do urban experiences and
public representations become part of the narration of the individual’s
life story? How do memories of the everyday man increasingly flood the
public space (see examples commemorating everyday man such as the
Stolpersteine project) and how does the individual challenge particular
memorials (see vandalization of statues)? How do collective and
individual processes of remembering mutually shape each other in and
through the urban space?

Juli Szekely

CEU Budapest

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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