Friday, 20 January 2012

Call for Papers

Contested histories and the parameters of resistance

University of York, Tuesday 3rd July 2012

Confirmed Keynote: Dr. Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire)

Representing the past is a contested and dissonant process. The
promotion of particular voices and stories within history in line with
the simultaneous suppression of others is an action which is both
directed by and influences the politics of identity, performances of
power and reaction to contemporary circumstance. But alongside
authoritative and officially endorsed versions of the past are
instances of cultural resistance which seek to challenge the agreed
conventions and fill silences. Alan Rice (2010) has described
occurrences of artistic reaction to dominant historical narratives as
'Guerrilla Memorialisation'. Through this terminology the importance
of recognising these gestures as a distinctly active, political and
performative process. Whilst these actions stand as important acts of
resistance in their own right, it seems important to question and
indeed try to understand the consequences of these processes of
challenge. What are the legacies of such acts and what is their impact
on official narratives? What are the boundaries and limitations of
resistance to authoritative versions of the past and by whom are they
imposed? Who are the audiences for this resistance and how is it

This interdisciplinary conference aims to create a dialogue across
subjects about the different ways in which narratives, cultural
artefacts, spaces and places are creatively used and reused to perform
acts of resistance which contest authoritative versions of history. In
line with this we hope to raise questions about the different kinds of
impact these processes may have on people, stories and understandings
of the past and indeed the present.

Conference presentations will be followed by a discussion, led by Dr
Zoƫ Norridge (University of York), which will explore both the theory
and the practice of resisting official histories and interrogate the
parameters of resistance. We welcome proposals from postgraduate
students and early career researchers working in or across disciplines
including History, Literature, History of Art, Archaeology,
Architecture, Cultural Studies, Film, Geography, International
Development, Politics and related fields.

Please send abstracts of up to 300 words for papers of 20 minutes as
well as a brief academic biography of 50 to 100 words to the
conference organisers (Isabelle Hesse, Jessica Moody and Nicola Robinson at   by 5pm 30th March.

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