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Experiencing War Memorials: Place, Feeling, and Public Memory
February 23-25, 2023
The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Ladino, author of Memorials Matter: Emotion, Environment, and Public Memory at American Historical Sites (University of Nevada Press, 2019)
War remembrance is fundamentally an emotional affair. However, the often complex and even contradictory ways in which war memorials move their audiences remain largely unexamined. This symposium will explore the braided themes of memory, place, and feeling (or affect) in connection with sites of public war commemoration. Scholars from all relevant fields are welcome to submit proposals that focus on war memorials of any kind--including public monuments, films, literary texts, paintings, and websites—from any period. Sample topics may include but are not limited to:
- War memorialization and affect theory
- The benefits and/or dangers of emotive war memorials
- The relationship between physical environment and feeling at sites of war remembrance
- War memorialization and trauma
- The affective use of music in war commemoration
- Narrative, emotion, and remembrance
- Memorialization and the sublime
- Emotion in commemorative spaces (landscapes, museums, etc.)
- Guilt versus pride in war memorialization
- How and why war memorials produce different emotions over time
- War, commemoration, and violence against nature
This conference will have no concurrent sessions. Participants will be able to hear all the papers and to submit their work for possible publication in an interdisciplinary essay collection (part of the University of Alabama Press’s “War, Memory, and Culture” series) that will be edited by Professor Ladino. The symposium will include an optional field trip to Montgomery to see the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
This event is hosted by the Departments of English, History, and Modern Languages and Classics at the University of Alabama and by the Center for the Study of War and Memory at the University of South Alabama.
Susan McCready, University of South Alabama
Steven Trout, University of Alabama