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Plenary Speakers:


This conference aims to understand the means by which people come to know, feel, and reflect upon their past. Questions of history, memory, and heritage are all guided by the ethical concerns of the present and by desires regarding the future. The production of alternatives to the dominant narrative might also entail their own forms of exclusion. Contestation arises precisely when the past becomes a resource to remake the contemporary world. But how do we narrate pasts? What counts as "evidence" in such narrations? Whose stories prevail? Which pasts are silenced?

Traces of the past need not refer to archives alone. We also invite papers that would interpret how memory is inscribed on the human body, the landscape, in practices of commemoration, cinema, through nostalgia, and images of utopia or revolution. We encourage scholars to examine how collectives and subjectivities are formed, reformed, and contested through recuperation and retrospection, and how conceptions of past selves engage critically with the world-scale economic projects of colonialism, neocolonialism, and nationalism.

This unique International interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars, students, artists, writers and activists to engage with the conference theme more directly.

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