CFP: “RE:Constructions: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Memory and Imagination” (U. of Virginia)

Deadline for Submissions: February 15, 2017

CFP: University of Virginia Slavic Forum (Mar. 31- Apr. 1)

“RE:Constructions: An Interdisciplinary Forum on Memory and Imagination”

Keynote Speaker: Masha Gessen, Friday, March 31st

Traditional applications of the terms memory and imagination have emphasized a distinct barrier between the concepts based on the premise of accuracy. Memory should be a record, one that, if occasionally faulty, remains primarily truthful. Imagination cannot be faulty because it is nebulous, fictive, unconcerned with veracity. However, in recent years, cognitive scientists have demonstrated that the same neural processes underlie both memory and imagination. Memories are as much constructs as imagination.

This forum is devoted to the intersections of memory and imagination in constructing identity, history, traditions, and futures. Memory invokes ideas of nostalgia, trauma, the urge to preserve, to delay oblivion. Imagination invokes dreaming, invention, childhood, play. Despite the seeming differences between the two, they both affect every sphere of human experience and endeavor.

The UVA Slavic Forum is committed to promoting an atmosphere of interdisciplinary cooperation. Therefore, papers from various disciplines will be accepted. Papers may deal with memory and/or imagination. Creativity in interpreting the topic is encouraged. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:

-Autobiography and historical narrative
-Invented traditions
-Imagined geography and imagined communities
-Institutional memory
-Social structures, institutions, and the social imagination
-Identity and narrative of self
-Exile and nostalgia
-Breakdowns of memory, trauma and amnesia
-Cognitive science
-Possible-world theory and worldbuilding

The University of Virginia Society of Slavic Graduate Students will host RE:Constructions: Memory and Imagination Mar. 31 – Apr. 1. Submissions should be sent in Microsoft Word format. Please include an abstract (no more than 200 words), as well as your name, phone number, departmental affiliation, and a short academic bio. Submissions from graduate students, postdocs, and undergraduate students will be considered. Undergraduate papers will be presented in separate panels.

Submissions should be sent to  by Feb 15.