The Public Commemoration of the Past

This interdisciplinary forum—comprising two panel discussions followed by a plenary lecture—will explore how important past events are memorialized in the public eye. We will consider such questions as: who or what do we choose to commemorate from our collective past, and why? How do different works and forms of historical commemoration interfere or overlap? What are the ideological, affective, and/or aesthetic implications of public acts or works of remembrance? What kind of public is created or evoked by a work or performance that memorializes the past? Topics to be discussed will include the representation of war, commissioned music, nationalist historical writing, geographical memorials, and photography.

Samuel Alexander A7
12-1:15: Session 1

“Nationalist wives and martial mothers: Right-wing story-tellers reconfigure women’s history in Mumbai,” Atreyee Sen, RCUK Fellow, University of Manchester

“Beautiful Anaesthetics: Cleansing Violence, Promoting Peace and Reconstructing the Body in War Memorial,” Ana Carden-Coyne, History, University of Manchester

“Organised Oblivion: Rewriting Time and Memory in Sixteenth-Century England,” Anke Bernau, English and American Studies, University of Manchester

“Spaces of Ireland Overseas: Landscapes of Famine Memory,” Yvonne Whelan, Geography, University of Bristol

1:15-1:45: lunch

1:45-3:00: Session 2

“Commemorating Polaroid,” Peter Buse, Department of English, Salford University

“ ‘What did you do on Armistice Night?’: Ford Madox Ford and Commemoration,” Andrew Frayn, English and American Studies, University of Manchester

“Music, Memory and Collective Identity: Commemorative Festivals in Vormärz Germany,” James Garratt, Music, University of Manchester

“Commemoration in a dictatorsip: public memory in Nazi Germany,” Maiken Umbach, History, University of Manchester

Samuel Alexander Lecture Theatre
5:00 Plenary Lecture

“The Memory of the Treaty of Utrecht and Imperial Contestation in Hanoverian Britain” Steven Pincus, Yale University