“‘Doing’ Memory Research Differently”

This CFP for the 2017 Association of American Geographers conference in Boston is of interest towards my Between Repression and Heroism project.

The Cultural Geography Specialty Group will sponsor the session. Other session organizers interested in CGSG sponsorship should feel free to contact me in my capacity as Program Director of the specialty group.


CFP: ‘Doing’ memory research differently

AAG, 5 – 10 April, 2017, Boston (Massachusetts)

(Re)productions of memory manifest in public places.  Memory can manifest overtly and materially, in monuments, memorials, museums, cenotaphs; it can be performed, in annual commemorative events (Nora, 1989), marches and public gatherings; it can be part of the everyday landscapes and places of our daily routines (Muzaini, 2015); and, it can be felt as a presence or absence (Mayfield-Bell, 2004), as well as through the scarring of wounded cities (Till, 2012).  The scope for research on, and in places and spaces of memory is extensive.

Geographers are well-placed to undertake memory-based research because it aligns with core concerns of geographical inquiry in its investigations of people, places and cultures.  Memory studies is, however, a multidisciplinary research field, in which an impressive array of qualitative investigative methods is deployed to do research memory. Yet, ‘questions of method and methodology’ related to studies of memory have been limited (Keightley and Pickering, 2013).  In this session we seek to engage with the methods of memory research and in particular a growing engagement with non-representational and more-than-human approaches.  Compelled by the affective capacity of our memory research, we have both been inspired to think about memory in different ways and via different media, to engage with memory’s performativity, its affect, its visuality and its sounds.

In this session we seek scholars working in, and at memory spaces to highlight how they ‘do’ their memory research.  Papers should centre their focus on the method utilised, and how it helped facilitate a more nuanced understanding of the memory practices in question. Contributions could focus on:

– the use of non-representational and more-than-human approaches

– ethnographies (auto, sound, video) and observations

– (audio)visual technologies (GoPro, photography)

– vox pops

– mobile methods (site walks, sound walks)

– embodied and emplaced methods

– mixed methods


  • Keightley, E., and Pickering, M. (2013) Research methods for memory studies. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP.
  • Mayerfeld Bell, M. 2004. An Invitation to Environmental Sociology, Second Edition. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.
  • Muzaini, H. (2015) On the matter of forgetting and ‘memory returns’. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 40, 102-112.
  • Nora, P. (1989) Between memory and history: Les lieux de memoire. Representations, 7-24.
  • Till, K. E. (2012) Wounded cities: Memory-work and a place-based ethics of care. Political Geography, 31, 3-14.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words via email to Danielle Drozdzewski (danielled@unsw.edu.au) and Carolyn Birdsall (C.J.Birdsall@uva.nl) by 14 October 2016.

Should you have queries about the potential fit of your paper, please also do get in touch.

About nicholasjoncrane

Associate Professor of Geography and International Studies at the University of Wyoming
This entry was posted in Calls, Conferences, Cultural Geography, Fieldwork, Memory, Qualitative Research, Research Design. Bookmark the permalink.

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