Re-membering the Past: Cultural Memory and Public Humanities

Re-membering the Past: Cultural Memory and Public Humanities

KEDEA Building, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Campus
17 █ May █ 2024

In her article “The Public Futures of Humanities” Judith Butler stresses the pivotal role of the field of Public Humanities for the survival of humanities as “a way to assert the public value of [the latter], a way of thinking about the fate of the Earth, our common and uncommon lives together, ways of telling our histories and imagining our futures” (Butler 49). Leading universities around the world like Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Stanford are embracing this new and inclusive field of knowledge that combines academic scholarship and social praxis; they acknowledge its potential and momentum, “evoking new publics and giving both form and venue to new kinds of collectivity and conversation, and in doing so, delivering the vast knowledge that lives outside of disciplines (…) into the university (Frye Jacobson 171).

The one-day symposium organized on the AUTh campus by the Laboratory of Narrative Research (LNR) of the School of English on Friday 17 May 2024 (and livestreamed) will trace the development of this field in Greece, and offer participants the opportunity to think about its prospects and challenges. It will bring together academics from across literature, history, archaeology, anthropology and the social sciences to think about the role of cultural memory, digital archiving and oral storytelling in the field of cultural heritage.

With broadly collaborative projects that cultivate a fruitful dialogue between academia and varied social networks and communities being at the core of public humanities, the symposium will create space for the presentation of specific projects; one of them will be the laboratory’s own project “Unravelling the Cocoon of Memory: Women’s Narratives of a Fading World” (2022-2023), awarded by the SNFPHI, connecting elderly women’s reminisces from the borderline town of Soufli and the largest Greek University.


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