Contested histories and the parameters of resistance
University of York, Tuesday 3rd July 2012
Confirmed Keynote: Dr. Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire)
Representing the past is a contested and dissonant process. The promotion of particular voices and stories within history in line with the simultaneous suppression of others is an action which is both directed by and influences the politics of identity, performances of power and reaction to contemporary circumstance. But alongside authoritative and officially endorsed versions of the past are instances of cultural resistance which seek to challenge the agreed
conventions and fill silences. Alan Rice (2010) has described
occurrences of artistic reaction to dominant historical narratives as 'Guerrilla Memorialisation'. Through this terminology the importance of recognising these gestures as a distinctly active, political and performative process. Whilst these actions stand as important acts of resistance in their own right, it seems important to question and
indeed try to understand the consequences of these processes of challenge. What are the legacies of such acts and what is their impact on official narratives? What are the boundaries and limitations of resistance to authoritative versions of the past and by whom are they imposed? Who are the audiences for this resistance and how is it
This interdisciplinary conference aims to create a dialogue across subjects about the different ways in which narratives, cultural artefacts, spaces and places are creatively used and reused to perform acts of resistance which contest authoritative versions of history. Inline with this we hope to raise questions about the different kinds of
impact these processes may have on people, stories and understandings of the past and indeed the present.
Conference presentations will be followed by a discussion, led by Dr ZoŽ Norridge (University of York), which will explore both the theory and the practice of resisting official histories and interrogate the parameters of resistance. We welcome proposals from postgraduate
students and early career researchers working in or across disciplines including History, Literature, History of Art, Archaeology, Architecture, Cultural Studies, Film, Geography, International Development, Politics and related fields.
Please send abstracts of up to 300 words for papers of 20 minutes as well as a brief academic biography of 50 to 100 words to the conference organisers (Isabelle Hesse, Jessica Moody and Nicola Robinson) at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm 30th March.
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