Call for Papers : Memory Studies

Submission deadline: 05 December 2016

Rooted in and inspired by the work of Halbswachs (1992), Aleida Asmann (2011), Jan Assmann (1997), Nora (1996), and many others, memory studies has become one of the quickest growing interdisciplinary fields in the humanities and social science (Tamm, 2013). The traditional, biologized and naturalised idea of memory and the act of remembering as an automatic practice of retrieval, as a natural process of recalling previous acts, what has been termed the ‘storage bin’ (Rowlinson et al., 2014) or ‘original plentitude and subsequent loss’ (Rigby, 2005) model of memory, has been increasingly troubled (Antze and Lambeck, 1996, Kuhn, 2002, Loveday, 2014). Scholarship has begun to reveal how remembering the past is an act of narration bringing new realities into being rather than simply reflecting an objective past (Antze and Lambeck, 1996, Kantsteine, 2002, Kuhn, 2002, Loveday, 2014). Each enactment of remembering re-narrates the past in particular ways. This is not arbitrary but performs particular social work in terms of maintaining collective identifications, particular shared narratives, as well as reinforcing particular erasures and extending and reproducing certain social violences.

While a fast growing and expanding field, memory studies is yet to become a mainstream and fully established field, and has displayed varying degrees of growth in different disciplines. Showcasing the work of postgraduate and early career memory scholars, the special issue aims to bring some of the new work in the field to broader social science audiences. It seeks a dual purpose of showcasing new scholarship but also in turn mapping the history and development of the field through this. This mapping also includes particular ideas and voices marginalised in field, particularly in relation to the Eurocentrism of memory studies. Thus submissions from the Global South and from scholars of color are greatly encouraged.

Submissions for full, original, previously unpublished journal articles are encouraged that draw upon or speak to the merging field of memory studies. This can include but is not limited to:

  • Collective and cultural memory
  • Relationships between memory and archiving
  • Forgetting and its links to erasure
  • Relations between memory and identity
  • Methods for researching memory
  • Euro-centricism in memory studies and memory studies in the Global South
  • The relationship between memory and biography and autobiography
  • Memory in relation to memorialisation and heritage 
  • The relation between memory and discourse, narrative and rhetoric 
  • Coloniality, remembering and post-colonialism
  • Memory and space
  • Nationalism and national memory
  • Exclusions, omissions and erasures in the field of memory studies
  • The nature of interdisciplinary in relation to memory studies and how it shapes the fields, as well as barriers to greater interdisciplinary 
  • The status of memory studies and work on memory in a particular discipline
  • The links between time, temporality and memory
  • Trans-national remembering

Those interested should send an abstract of no more than 300 words to by 5th December 2016, along with your name(s) and institutional affiliation(s).

If accepted, article submissions should be between 5,000-8,000 words, and short essay submissions should be between 2,000-3,000 words.

Also invited are recommendations for book reviews. If interested, send an email of no more than 300 words to identifying the book to be reviewed and why it would be worth reviewing and how it fits in with the theme of the special issue. If selected, reviews should be 1,000-1,500 words.  Obtaining copies of the book for review is the responsibility of the authors. The GJSS cannot purchase books or contact publishers for review copies on behalf of the reviewers.

Referencing for all submissions should be in line with the GJSS APA referencing guidelines.

Authors will be informed of the outcome of the abstract selection process in early January 2017. Selected authors will be invited to submit full manuscripts by 15th March, 2017. The special issue is anticipated to be published in Nov/Dec 2017.

Abstract submission deadline: 5th December 2016

Submit to:


Antze, P. and Lambeck, M. (1996). “Introduction: Forecasting Memory”. In: P. Antze. and M. Lambeck. (eds). Tense Past: Cultural Essays in Trauma and Memory. London: Routledge.

Assmann, A. (2011). Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives. New York : Cambridge University Press.

Assmann, J. (1997). Moses the Egyptian: the memory of Egypt in western monotheism. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Halbwachs, M. (1992).  “The Social Frameworks of Memory”. In: L. A. Coser. (ed). Maurice Halbwachs: On Collective Memory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kantsteine, W. (2002). “Finding Meaning in Memory: A methodological critique of collective memory studies”. History and Theory. 41, 179-197.

Kuhn, A. (2002). Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination. London: New York: Verso.

Loveday, V. (2014). “‘Flat-capping it’: Memory, nostalgia and value in retroactive male working- class identification”. European Journal of Cultural Studies. 17(6), 721-735.

Nora, P., & Kritzman, L. D. (1996). Realms of Memory: Conflicts and divisions (Vol. 1). Columbia University Press.

Rigby, A. (2005). “Plentitude, scarcity and the circulation of cultural memory”. Journal of European Studies. 35(1), 11-28.

Rowlinson, M., Booth, C., Clark, P., Delahaye, A., & Procter, S. (2009). “Social remembering and organizational memory”. Organization Studies. Online First.

Tamm, M. (2013). “Beyond History and Memory: New perspectives in memory studies”. History Compass. 11(6), 458-473.

Submission Deadline

05 December 2016