Call for Papers: Trauma Studies in the Digital Age

  • 10-12 May, 2017, University of Amsterdam

Mediated Testimony Symposium

  • 12 June 2017, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 15 A, Room 202

Call for Papers: Mnemonics 2017 - The Social Life of Memory

  • September 7-9, 2017 at Goethe University Frankfurt

Mediated Testimony Symposium

Mediated Testimony Symposium
  • 12 June 2017, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 15 A, Room 202
Testimony to lived experience plays a vital role in shaping the public conversation on many issues. This symposium will bring together leading scholars of life writing to discuss the role of mediation in the production, circulation and uses of testimony in contemporary debates regarding the treatment of people seeking asylum from war and those impacted by natural disasters. Questions considered in the symposium will include: how can we account for the role of different media forms (visual art, photographic journalism, print and online journalism, video) in the production of testimonial networks? To what extent must scholarship on testimony engage with debates regarding media, mediation and audiences in cognate fields? Is there evidence that specific media forms enhance the effects of testimony? 
Confirmed Speakers:
Professor Gillian Whitlock (FAHA), University of Queensland.
Professor Whitlock’s recent books include Soft Weapons: Autobiography in Transit (U Chicago Press, 2008) and Postcolonial Life Narrative (Oxford UP, 2014). She is currently working on the archive of asylum seeker letters that are held in the Fryer library in Queensland.
Professor Leigh Gilmore, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College.
Professor Gilmore is the author of Tainted Witness: Why We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives (Columbia UP 2017), The Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony (2001), and Autobiographics: A Feminist Theory of Women’s Self-Representation (1994) (both with Cornell UP).
Associate Professor Rosanne Kennedy, Australian National University.
Professor Kennedy recent work includes “Moving Testimony: Human Rights, Palestinian Memory, and the Transnational Public Sphere” (in Transnational Memory: Circulation, Articulation, Scales; de Gruyter, 2014) and “Memory, History and the Law: Testimony and Collective Memory in Holocaust and Stolen Generations Trials” (in Memory and History: Understanding Memory as Source and Subject; Routledge, 2013)
The symposium is free, but please register your interest in attending by emailing dr. Anna Poletti:
The symposium will be followed by a masterclass on mobilizing testimony, presented by Associate Professor Rosanne Kennedy on Tuesday 13 June, 13.30-15.30. This masterclass is offered with the support of The Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL). The masterclass will contribute 1 EC to the RMA training program. Students can register for the masterclass by emailing dr. Anna Poletti:
Hosted by Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON), Utrecht Forum for Memory Studies, and the Comparative Literature programme.
Photo Credit: "Listening to the Earth," by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, 21st Journal of Contemporary Photography Vol. II, 1999 21.6 x 16.5 cm, Photogravure.