Spaces of Memory and Geographies of the Fantastic and the Quotidian I (Panel / In-Person)


Special Session
British and Anglophone / Film and Media Studies

Mavis Tseng (Taipei Medical University)
mavi@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

This session explores the fundamental notions and offers new perspectives on the theme of space of memory in memory studies, literary criticism, film studies, and cultural studies. We invite papers that address the dynamic relationship between space and memory and its representation in contemporary literature, TV series, and film. Submissions that engage with the 2022 PAMLA Conference Theme, "Geographies of the Fantastic and the Quotidian," are particularly welcome.

This session examines the relationship between space and memory, geographies of memory, and the spatiality of history. The ancient Greek poet Simonides’ “memory palaces” emphasizes the significance of following spatial cues; Giulio Camillo’s famous “Theatre of memory” materializes human memory within an architectural framework; Walter Benjamin’s library, filled with the books he collected, is a space of memory. Wislawa Szymborska imagines memory as a theatre that she can “leave and reenter.” Here “spaces of memory” can refer to real or surreal (or hyperreal), exterior or interior, physical or digital, ordinary or fantastic spaces. Proust’s madeleine episode proves that memory could be easily evoked or mediated in apparently ordinary places; memories also inspire the creation of bizarre and fantastic spaces in our cultural imagination. In The Apple+ new sci-fi series Severance, the characters’ memory of work and memory of life can be split, and there is a mysterious elevator that switches the characters’ memory. In this world, what the characters remember at the moment depends entirely on which space they physically inhabit.

We invite papers that address the dynamic relationship between space and memory and its representation in contemporary literature, TV series, and film. This session explores the fundamental notions and offers new perspectives on the theme of space of memory in memory studies, literary criticism, film studies, and cultural studies. Submissions that engage with the 2022 PAMLA Conference Theme, "Geographies of the Fantastic and the Quotidian," are particularly welcome.