Primary Source: Memory and Identity Across Time and Space (Call for Conference Papers)

Corinne Wohlford's picture
May 17, 2018 to May 19, 2018
Missouri, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Psychology, Library and Information Science, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Digital Humanities

Fontbonne University, in partnership with the Missouri History Museum and sponsored by a National Endowment for the Humanities “Humanities Connections” grant, announces Primary Source, an interdisciplinary conference on the connections between memory—both individual and collective—and identity.

The human experience is deeply rooted in memory. It is the raw material of personal identity and community. It informs our narratives, generates our myths, justifies our politics, and sustains our cultures. Memory gives us our autobiographical individual selves, yet memory also binds us to one another. In spite of this, memory is always contentious and selective, even traumatic, and its meanings are subjective. Thus, paradoxically, memory also divides our ideologies, our faiths, our daily experiences. Memory, then, is always an intersection of the present and the past. In all these ways, memory is a central concern of the humanities. However, the study of memory also requires the sciences. Psychology tells us much about how memories are encoded, stored, and retrieved in the human brain, how they influence our decisions and our sense of self, and also how they are vulnerable to distortions and forgetting. Library and information science and museum studies—and the expanding domains of the digital humanities–address how memories are externalized–archived, preserved, retrieved, and used in the present.

We seek proposals that explore these topics from a variety of disciplines, and with a particular interest in the intersection of memory and identity for individuals and communities in migration, whether domestically or transnationally.

This conference is interdisciplinary and we especially invite papers that generate discussions between disciplines such as psychology, history, library and information science, museum studies, digital humanities, political science, religion, law, media studies (e.g., literature, film), and beyond.

The conference will be held at Fontbonne University in Saint Louis and at the nearby Missouri History Museum in Forest Park from May 17 to 19, 2018.

Coordinating Committee:

  • Corinne Wohlford, PhD, Academic Affairs and the Department of History, Philosophy, and Religion, Fontbonne University
  • Jason Finley, PhD, Psychology, Fontbonne University
  • Ben Moore, PhD, English and Communication, Fontbonne University
  • Julie Portman, MLIS, Jack C. Taylor Library, Fontbonne University
  • Jody Sowell, PhD, Missouri History Museum
  • Angela K. Dietz, PhD, Missouri History Museum
Contact Info: 

Dr. Corinne Wohlford, Fontbonne University, 314.719.3640,


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