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Testimony: Memory, Trauma, Truth, Engagement

3rd Global Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

 

Friday 8th July 2022 - Saturday 9th July 2022
Athens, Greece

The increased visibility of police brutality, forced disappearances, discoveries of unmarked and mass graves, and gendered killings, among other manifestations of systematic violence compels us to grapple with stories of loss, grief, and mourning. To give testimony, to tell and retell what one has witnessed, across time and generations–an historical inheritance of memory, trauma, and engagement. These accounts often take the form of testimony, that is, autobiographical narratives that present evidence of first-person accounts of human rights abuses, violence and war, and life under conditions of social oppression.

Testimony strongly encourages us to rethink the concepts of memory and trauma, closure, grieving and mourning, and to (re)imagine the entanglement of past, present, and future by opening a space for voices that have been historically silenced and/or censored. It is a genre that continues to thrive in the twenty-first century—perhaps even more so since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic—and one that encompasses a diversity of expression or representation from oral to written as well as nonfictional to fictional.

Testimonial production implies a spectrum of disciplines, art forms, geographical and historical contexts as well as multi-lingual realities, that includes topics such as: human rights and storytelling; trauma and memory; ethics, witnessing, and reconciliation; affect theory and empathy studies; critical pedagogy. Scholars continue to engage questions that address issues of generic hybridity and metamorphosis; uses, reception, and production of testimony; ethical and aesthetic contexts of testimony; and legal and juridical frameworks of testimony.

It is through interdisciplinarity that an examination can be made of the impact and contributions of testimonial production within the cultures of redress and transnational justice processes for both the producers of testimony and their audience.

The third conference in the Testimony series marks the launch of a new five year Special Collaborative Project.

Key Topics

This call for proposals asks for proposals in the context of a global pandemic, war, rape, and State crimes, and drawing on the concepts of memory, trauma, truth, and engagement. This conference aims to examine the genres and contexts of testimonial production that considers testimony in terms of its trajectories into questions dealing with memory, trauma, truth, and/or witness engagement. Examples of the above can be seen in, but are not exclusive to, the following categories:

Genre and Production
  • Literary and filmic witnessing: documentaries, witness testimonies
  • Life writing genres (autobiography, memoirs, letters, ethnography, etc.)
  • Testimonial writing: fiction vs. non-fiction, official history vs. reality
  • Social media: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, vlogs, blogs
  • Street Art: urban interventions, performance, activism, monuments, and anti-monuments
  • Digital storytelling: multimodal stories, podcasts
Trauma and Memory
  • Historical memory: spectral spaces, haunted geographies, memorialisation
  • Collective memory: oral history, culture of acknowledgement
  • Healing and recovery: survivor groups, support groups, activist groups, public mourning
  • Official history; cultures of erasure
  • Intergenerational trauma, storytelling
Truth and Reconciliation
  • Cultures of redress: personal, collective
  • Political persecution and torture
  • Challenges of truth and reconciliation commissions
  • Juridical testimony

Pedagogy and Civic Engagement

  • Culture of acknowledgement
  • Human rights and social justice: social activism and awareness
  • Methodologies and pedagogies of testimony

What To Send

This interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event aim to bring together academics, professionals, practitioners, NGOs, voluntary sector workers, etc., in the context of a variety of formats: presentations, seminars, workshops, panels, performances, etc.

300-word reviews of your proposed contribution (paper abstracts, proposals for workshops, collaborative works or round tables, overviews of artistic projects, or any other relevant forms of participation you are interested in) should be submitted by Friday 11th February 2022

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by an international panel drawn from the Project Advisory Team and the Advisory Board. In practice, our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 25th February 2022

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a complete draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 20th May 2022

Proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF, or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of the proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

Emails should be entitled:  Testimony Submission

Where To Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Cristina Santos: cristina@progressiveconnexions.net
Len Capuli (Project Administrator): athenstestimony@progressiveconnexions.net 

Details and Information

 

Registration Fees

The Registration Fee is £275 and includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ online registration
~ online abstract and programme submissions
~ Book of Abstracts
~ Delegate Pack (online and physical)
~ Friday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Friday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Friday lunch
~ Friday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Friday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Saturday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Saturday lunch
~ Saturday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
~ participation in project output discussion session
~ discounted rates for any outputs emerging from the event
~ discounted rate for attendance at further Progressive Connexions activities and events

Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 11th February 2022
Abstract/Presentation submission

Friday 25th February 2022
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 11th March 2022
Booking Form Submissions

by Friday 1st April 2022
Circulation of Draft Programme
Invoices issued

Friday 29th April 2022
Final date for payment

Friday 13th May 2022
Circulation of Revised Programme
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

Friday 3rd June 2022
Final programme to printing

The conference is being held at the Titania Hotel Athens

Situated in the centre of Athens, between Syntagma & Omonia squares and METRO stations, Panepistimio & Omonia

52, Panepistimiou 10678, Athens -Greece
Tel: +30.210-33.26.000 Fax: +30.210-33.00.700

We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms.

Standard Room - Single Occupancy €120 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy €130 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed.
Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking.
You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.

The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.

Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by  Friday 18th March 2022 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Friday 29th April 2022

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Cheque
Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Freeland
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We regret we cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Online
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Paypal
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

IMPORTANT
We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

What’s so Special?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

 

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

 

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

 

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

 

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Ethos

Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

 

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

 

All enquiries should be sent to the project email: athensmigrations@progressiveconnexions.net

Further details and information can be found at the project web page:
https://www.progressiveconnexions.net/interdisciplinary-projects/cultures-and-societies/migrations/

Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network inspiring inclusive interdisciplinary research, publishing and collaboration

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