Persistenze o Rimozioni 7 The past of the present The use and abuse of history in collective identities formation

Annarita Gori's picture
Call for Papers
December 12, 2016 to February 19, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Nationalism History / Studies, Public History

"Persistenze o Rimozioni" launches a call for papers for its VII annual conference: “The past of the present. The use and abuse of history in collective identities formation”. 

Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali

Università degli Studi di Siena

4-5 may 2017

Designed to be a showcase for young scholars’ work, “Persistenze o Rimozioni” launches its  annual call for papers with the aim of helping young researchers present themselves and their research. Attending the conference they will have the chance to meet researchers from other countries and discuss their work with senior scholars.  As part of a long-term research project on the contemporary age, the conference wants to analyse the use of the past in building collective identities, with an interdisciplinary approach. After a long international debate, scholars , agreed that national collective identities are not an innate feeling, but the result of vast and complex cultural processes. They are an artificial construction determined by an unceasing flow of myth-making, creating symbols, inventing traditions and common imaginings and collective memories. Therefore, the concept of collective identity is largely the result of specific policies and their public use of history.

Critical transitions and schisms have brought modern nations, through their intellectual and political elite to (re)write – according to their ownneeds – the collective identity, creating a fluid process that proceeds and is renewed over the years,..

Within this framework,  the CFP focuses particularly on the dynamic character of collective identitiy formation, referring both to the past and the present and favoring those papers in which the present is used as a key to interpret the past.

Which aspects persist and which aspects change, with continuous  redefinition of collective identities? How have founding myths been adapted over the years? How were traditions  modified by political changes, post-colonial dynamics and migration? How has the past been (ab)used in the nation-building process?

In order to give answers to these and other questions, we encourage all PhD students and researchers at an early stage of their careers to submit proposals dealing with the processes of (re)invention of the collective identities, as well as the reinterpretation of the past, for example,  through the use of: History (public and didactic narrations, celebrations, museums, exhibition);

Space (private and public, monuments, topography, urban planning);

Economics and politics (ideas of identities driving political and economic choices and strategies);

Literature and critical debate (novels, essays, journals, literary websites and blogs).

Proposals that start from current themes, images, pictures, movies and other iconographic sources will be positively valued.

A special Scientific Committee will evaluate proposals based on abstracts of not more than 500 words. Abstracts must include a brief CV and be submitted by email to (subject: “POR7 + surname”). Deadline: 19th February 2017.

Conference Proceedings will be published by 2018 (Aracne Publishing, “Persistenze o Rimozioni” editorial series).

Conference fee is €40. Publication and membership of “Persistenze o Rimozioni”.

Comitato scientifico: Michelangela Di Giacomo (M9 Museum), Annarita Gori (ICS, Lisbona),Novella di Nunzio (University of Vilnius and University of Kaunas), Paolo Perri (University of Calabria), Francesca Zantedeschi (UPF, Barcellona) Enrico Gaudenzi (University of Bologna), Livio Karrer (University of Padova), Oscar Greco (University of Calabria), Jordi Roca Vernet (Universitat de Barcelona), Adriano Cirulli (UniversityUninettuno), Paola S. Salvatori (Università Normale di Pisa), Elisa Maria Pegorin (FAUP- Porto); Gianni Silei (Università di Siena), Manfredi Scanagatta (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia).


Contact Info: 

Associazione Culturale Persistenze o Rimozioni