Conference 1 - Between remembrance and evocation : grasping the past(s) of a place

This inaugural doctoral student conference organised by the labex The Pasts in the Present is meant to showcase the work of young researchers working on and around the themes of memory and heritage, and to foster dialogue between various disciplines, including anthropology, history, art history and political science.

This conference attempts to take a fresh look at the relationship between place(s) and memory(s) by exploring the question of how a place is remembered, and the representations that these memories generate amongst those who remember. Place, here, can be thought of as a tool or instrument; a starting point for understanding the past. By examining representations of the past by way of place(s), we are able to approach the complex relationship between individual memories and public narrative. The participants of the conference will focus on the relationship of the past through the social practices of a place, primarily at a local level.

As a medium of individual as well as collective memories, place is a structure around which are forged relationships within communities, allowing for the reconstruction of the past in the present (Halbwachs, 1950). As soon as the notion of place is recognised as a "site", "heritage", "museum" or "memorial" by the actions of public and private actors, “place” begins to produce and prioritise various accounts of the past. This conference aims to address the relationship between place(s) and memory(s) from this dual relationship of place as a record of the past and place as an evocation of the past. How does the materiality of place(s) frame individual and collective memories? How are past events recreated through physical spaces central to the history of communities? How do the traces of these sites allow for the transmission and/or the metamorphosis of memories from one generation to the next?

Monday, November 17th, 2014
10:00 - 18h:00
University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
Building T - Room T237

© Julie Lavielle