Memory as Politics Conference

Memory as Politics: An Interdisciplinary Conference

University of Pittsburgh

May 6, 2017


Time:               Saturday, May 6, 2017 — 9:00am to 18:00pm

Location:         University of Pittsburgh School of Law
                        Alcoa Room, 3900 Forbes Ave. (2nd Fl)

Convener:       Iza Ding (Political Science, University of Pittsburgh)

Sponsor:          Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
                       Asian Studies Center
                       Global Studies Center



Memory is the bedrock of politics. Collective and individual memories—nostalgic, traumatic, or otherwise—pervade politics and, in turn, shape the political present in myriad ways. Reagan nostalgia has featured heavily in the rise of Donald Trump; while Maoist nostalgia has buttressed support for anti-corruption campaigns in China. The trauma of terrorism has affected the international discourse on nation-building and migration, and the trauma of war and genocide has shaped the way in which the world views human rights.

“Memory as Politics: An Interdisciplinary Conference” brings together experts on memory politics from various disciplines to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue in the field of memory politics. Questions to be discussed include:

  • What shapes a society’s memory of its political past?
  • What defines and shapes individual versus collective political memory?
  • How does our memory of the past shape our opinions about the present?

Furthermore, the conference provides support for Pitt library’s ongoing project “Cultural Revolution Ten.” The project collects video interviews of citizens’ memories about the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). This valuable project provides researchers of the Cultural Revolution new data and new insights.  The conference will feature a presentation on the project and screen selected interviews in the panel on the Cultural Revolution.

Please click here to view the schedule.