English Graduate Student Association
March 31 – April 1, 2012
Keynote Speaker: Marita Sturken, Professor and Chair,
Department of Media, Culture, and Communication,
New York University
Faculty Speaker: Erika Boeckeler, Assistant Professor of English, Northeastern University
The EGSA’s sixth annual conference, Memory Remains, seeks to explore the integral role that memory and its remains play in our daily lives — in public and private constructions of self and reality — as well as in individual and communal narratives. Memory is transitory, yet seemingly permanent; it occupies the borders of ontology, reaching into our sensory and bodily awareness. In short, we rely on our capacity to remember to draw conclusions about ourselves and others, and yet memory is, at its base, unreliable, biased, and transient.
Memory’s remains are left over after a moment or an event’s conclusion: ruins in former colonial spaces, ephemera in archives, remnants of student writing, practiced or rehearsed personal narratives. To claim that memory remains is a bold pronouncement that argues for memory’s haunting quality, but also the resilience of memory, and its fundamental role in shaping human identity. Our conference invites the interrogation of memory and its remains, from across a number of different intellectual fields — anthropology, philosophy, rhetoric, cinema studies, psychology, sociology, geography, political science, history, the visual arts, literary studies, composition studies, narratology, or even biology and neuroscience — as well as methodologies.
“The original experiences of memory are irretrievable; we can only ‘know’ them through memory remains – images, objects, texts, stories.” Marita Sturken