Memory and Media graduate conference–cfp

Memory and Media: Graduate Conference for Chinese Studies The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio November 17th, 2018

Over the last three decades, memory studies have inspired scholars in both modern and premodern Chinese fields to explore interdisciplinary approaches to history, tradition, canonization, identity formation, and more. The convergence of memory and Chinese studies brings new vantage points, as well as questions and challenges. How can critical concepts from memory theories be productively appropriated or even revised for the purpose of Chinese studies? Conversely, how can case studies on China refine and broaden our understanding about memory in the larger field of humanities?

The study of memory is almost unthinkable without examining the medium, or the various media, through which the memory is communicated. At both individual level and collective level, memory may be embodied and mediated through texts, objects, oral narratives, music, visual arts, rituals, bodily performances, and so forth. As Astrid Erll has pointed out, “each of these media has its specific way of remembering and will leave its trace on the memory it creates.” The dynamic interplay between memory and media helps us conceptualize memory as not just a product, but a process.

To approach the interplay between memory and media, we are calling for papers for a graduate conference that will be held at the Ohio State University. We welcome presentations on literature, folklore, visual arts, music, theatre, mass media, and/or other related areas that take “memory and media,” broadly defined, as a point of departure. Topics may include but are not limited to those in these areas:

  • What is the relationship between memory and media? How do different forms of media encode, communicate, and shape memory differently? How do we understand memory as a process in pluri- medial networks?
  • Are certain media more “powerful” than others in transmitting certain memories? How do we conceptualize the mutual influences between the choice of media and memory making?
  • How is individual/group identity negotiated through the processes and products of memory? How do different media relate the past of an individual or a group to its present and future?

Keynote Speaker: Xiaoqiao Ling

Xiaoqiao Ling is Assistant Professor of Chinese at School of International Letters & Cultures in Arizona State University. She has published in both Chinese and English on fiction and drama commentary, legal imagination in literature, memory and trauma in 17th-century China. Her first book, Feeling the Past in Seventeenth-Century China, explores traumatic memories and their transmission across generations during the Manchu conquest of China. She is currently working on a second book-length project on the romantic play The Story of the Western Wing. By investigating how various social groups across cultural and regional geographies interpreted, adapted, and appropriated the play, this project aims at revealing how the play’s social life helped the text to achieve the status of a cultural icon.

Please submit a proposal (300 words maximum) and a short bio by September 25, 2018 to Mario De Grandis at with the subject line, “Memory and Media.”

Successful applicants will be notified no later than October 1, 2018.

Please share this CFP with those who may be interested.

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