Memory before Modernity. Memory Cultures in Early Modern Europe - Reminder
In the ‘memory boom’ that has emerged in the humanities and social sciences since 1990, five major themes have captured most attention: (a) the relationship between politics and memory, (b) trauma and memories of violence, (c) the ‘mediatization’ of memory (d) the transmission of memory and identity formation (e) the relationship between memory, history and other concepts of the past. Yet most case studies relating to these themes have been concerned with events and evidence post-1800; indeed, many theorists of memory allege that there is something intrinsically ‘modern’ about them. The aim of this conference is to put this assumption to the test. First, we want to ask to what extent, and in what ways, these five themes also played themselves out in the early modern period. Secondly, we want to analyze more closely how early modern cultural, social, political and religious frameworks affected cultures of memory. Who ‘managed’ early modern memories? What mechanisms were at work? What patterns can we establish? How distinctively ‘early modern’ are these?

We invite late medievalists and early modernists to offer proposals for 20 minute papers on one of the following five themes. Details on the panels can be found on our website
Panel 1. Memory wars before the nation state
Panel 2. Coping with distressing memories
Panel 3. Memory landscapes as multimedial experiences
Panel 4. Memory transmission and identity formation
Panel 5. Sensations of change
The themes will be introduced in five keynote lectures. Confirmed keynote speakers include Philip Benedict, Susan Broomhall and Benjamin Schmidt. The conference will end with a round table in which experts on modern memory will comment on the findings of the conference.
We will be able to cover the expenses of economy travel and accommodation in Leiden for all speakers selected. Papers should be submitted two weeks before the conference and will be made available to all participants beforehand. Proposals can be submitted until 1 November 2011 by email:

This conference is organized by the NWO VICI Research Team Tales of the Revolt. Memory, Oblivion and Identity in the Low Countries, 1566-1700, that is directed by Professor Judith Pollmann. Further information on the team and the project at
Prof. dr. Judith Pollmann
Leiden University
Visit the website at
Date: 2011-10-27