CfA: Agency in Transnational Memory Politics: A Framework for Analyzing Practice

Aline Sierp's picture

Aline Sierp (Maastricht University) and Jenny Wüstenberg (York University, Toronto) are looking for contributors for an edited volume on Agency in Transnational Memory Politics: A Framework for Analyzing Practice  to be published with Oxford University Press.

The relatively young sub-field of transnational memory studies has until recently been marked by a combination of abstract theories with countless detailed but unconnected case studies. This is now beginning to change: scholars such as Michael Rothberg, Astrid Erll, Ann Rigney, Gregor Feindt, and Aline Sierp have worked to develop sophisticated approaches, captured in terms such as multi-vocal, traveling, or entangled remembrance. Our volume seeks to build on this work by honing in on questions of agency in transnational memorialization. In addition, we will draw on scholarship outside the field of memory, such as work in international relations and sociology that has theorized the “agency-structure problem,” informal types of regulation in the literature on global governance, and theories of transnational action in social movement research.

The pivotal question to be answered by the edited volume will be: Who is driving the transnationalization of memory and how is it happening? In our introductory chapter, we will present a framework for analyzing transnational mnemonic action, which will then be utilized by all participating authors. We will offer a typology of transnational memory actors, their strategies, and the transnational regimes of remembrance, which they have helped to create. The contributors to the volume will show through their case studies how this framework can help us make sense of empirical reality.

There are three central ideas that will run through the volume: First, it will focus on further developing our understandings of transnational memory through theory-driven empirical studies. Though we will not compare the case studies in this book through a rigid matrix, our framework will allow us to make comparisons and thus to draw more than merely additive conclusions. Second, the analyses will highlight how agency in memory politics changes outcomes and interacts with structures of political and cultural memory through reproduction and transformation. And finally, we will address the ways in which both the theory and practice of memory politics – even at the transnational level – are tied to places, real and imagined. This is why we will use the notion of transnational space-making.

We are looking for contributors coming from diverse backgrounds including Political Science, History, Sociology, Literary Studies, Anthropology and Media Studies. Contributors must commit to submitting an original paper that engages explicitly with the theoretical framework outlined in the introductory chapter by September 1, 2017. We will then assemble a book proposal to be submitted to Oxford University Press initially. We will also hold an authors’ workshop on December 13, 2017 in Copenhagen for which attendance is highly encouraged.

Please send an abstract of 300 words, as well as a short biography, to aline.sierp@maastrichtuniversity.nl and jwustenb@yorku.ca by May 10, 2017.