Beyond Disciplinary Communities NUBS 2.10
Jul 05, 2023 11:00 - 12:30(Europe/London)
20230705T1100 20230705T1230 Europe/London 3.9. Relational Approaches to Environmental Memory: Beyond Nature|Culture

One of the barriers to empathetic engagement with the climate crisis is the lingering nature|culture binary that manifests in certain worldviews and within neoliberal capitalism. In this binary, human life is somehow sequestered from nature; questions of social justice (e.g. the consequences of colonialism and racism) are considered separately from questions of environmental justice; science, art, and traditional knowledge systems remain siloed. In this panel, environmental memory scholars and practitioners discuss ethical and relational approaches that break through the nature|culture binary. Can the more-than-human have agency? Rights? Specific to the Memory Studies context, what conceptions of temporality are salient for an environmental memory of witnessing that must take both human and geologic time into account?

Joanne Garde-Hansen

Amphibious Screens: Cultural Memories of Coastal CommunitiesThis Amphibious Screens paper brings together research of American, British, Nordic and Italian screen cultures to better understand the how cultural memories of water in film and television have shaped and impacted local communities and their heritage. The social, cultural and environmental challenges faced by spectacular coasts, lagoons, rivers, and icescapes are continually framed by old and new amphibious screen memories. Focused upon four unique and connected case-studies (Miami, Iceland, Venice, Cornwall), with culturally and historically significant screen histories, the paper seeks to address how memory studies can reveal hidden interiors screened out by spectacular histories. How local communities shape their own cultural memories of their own coastal communities will be vital for climate crises and environmental risks.Bio: After being caught up in the U ...

NUBS 2.10 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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One of the barriers to empathetic engagement with the climate crisis is the lingering nature|culture binary that manifests in certain worldviews and within neoliberal capitalism. In this binary, human life is somehow sequestered from nature; questions of social justice (e.g. the consequences of colonialism and racism) are considered separately from questions of environmental justice; science, art, and traditional knowledge systems remain siloed. In this panel, environmental memory scholars and practitioners discuss ethical and relational approaches that break through the nature|culture binary. Can the more-than-human have agency? Rights? Specific to the Memory Studies context, what conceptions of temporality are salient for an environmental memory of witnessing that must take both human and geologic time into account?



Joanne Garde-Hansen

Amphibious Screens: Cultural Memories of Coastal Communities

This Amphibious Screens paper brings together research of American, British, Nordic and Italian screen cultures to better understand the how cultural memories of water in film and television have shaped and impacted local communities and their heritage. The social, cultural and environmental challenges faced by spectacular coasts, lagoons, rivers, and icescapes are continually framed by old and new amphibious screen memories. Focused upon four unique and connected case-studies (Miami, Iceland, Venice, Cornwall), with culturally and historically significant screen histories, the paper seeks to address how memory studies can reveal hidden interiors screened out by spectacular histories. How local communities shape their own cultural memories of their own coastal communities will be vital for climate crises and environmental risks.

Bio: After being caught up in the UK summer 2007 floods, Joanne turned her attention to an arts and humanities approach to water, and co-developed a concept of sustainable flood memory. Expanding this concept into projects in Brazil she learned how local communities use protest and local action to re-develop rivers used as sewers by water agencies with good PR. She recently completed a monograph on Media and Water which explores the representation and cultural production of flood, drought and a watery sense of place in film, television, journalism and community media, cultural archives and national heritages. Joanne is Professor of Culture, Media and Communication at the University of Warwick, UK.


Clara de Massol

 Anthropocene mnemonic subjects : Restitution and the colonial legacies of extinction, subjection and spoil

This presentation introduces a new research project which examines the legacies of Empire and colonisation through a new materialism, environmental memory studies and Anthropocene studies perspective. What I propose is to select and examine 'Anthropocenic mnemonic subjects' that are – or would be – put on display in cultural sites and institutions. These collection objects as more than human mnemonic subjects are selected as socially significant, material witnesses of colonial spoil and evidencing ecocultural historical turning points. In parallel, the issue of restitution of these objects is examined. The inquiry is driven by an 'Anthropocene as method' framework. The framework, inspired by research in new materialism, is an innovative approach where the Anthropocene is more than a geological theory, an environmental reality or an epochal referent, but is also examined as a spectrum rendering legible the imprints and traces of human activity. The Anthropocene is then the research's epistemological backdrop and what I propose as memorial forms and practices are deployed as paradigmatic Anthropocenic markers/agents, or mnemonic subjects, driving the analysis. The research draws from material history perspective and looks to new materialism as well as memory studies to survey entities, artefacts and technologies evidencing and mediating colonial, socio economic, cultural and/or environmental moments. By applying a postcolonial analytical direction to environmental memory studies, the project locates ecocultural stories in a Global context. The goal is to acknowledge situations of exploitation in which lives are made disposable because of colonial and capitalist structures. I propose then – through Anthropocene mnemonic subjects – to expose hierarchal situations of extinction, subjection and spoil which actively regulate planetary mechanisms of dispossession and exploitation.

Bio: Clara de Massol is a lecturer at King's College London, where she completed her PhD on memory in the Anthropocene. Her research examines the intersections of memory studies and environmental humanities. Clara's doctoral research was supported by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (AHRC), and she was the 2019 recipient of the MSA's Excellent Paper Award.


Deniz Gundogan Ibrisim

Mapping Feminist and Slow Routes in Environmental Memory: Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's The Dragonfly Sea

This presentation focuses on the manifestation of environmental memory which pays special attention to the entangled and slow feature of memory work in its material, spiritual, affective and nonhuman communal worlds. In this context, I claim that eco-feminist consciousness is central for introducing environmental memory in its slow modes that develops the bases for reciprocal affection, producing deep and response-able relationship to the world. To that end, I discuss Kenyan novelist Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's novel The Dragonfly Sea (2019) which shifts humans, and at the same time masculine and techno focused fast-paced knowledge production from the central focus of attention.

Bio: Deniz Gundogan Ibrisim is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) postdoctoral fellow at Sabancı University at the Faculty of Arts and. Social Sciences. She received her BA in English Literature from Istanbul University and her two master's degree in Gender Studies from Istanbul University and Central European University respectively. As a Fulbright PhD Fellow, she earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from Washington University. Her research lies at the intersection of Anglophone postcolonial literature, Middle Eastern literature, cultural trauma and memory studies, and environmental humanities. Her research is also informed by gender and sexuality studies and narrative theory (feminist and queer narratology, eco-narratology). Her research has been supported by the Cost Action Project, the Fulbright-IIE, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Sawyer Seminars, The Institute for World Literature (IWL), and several Washington University fellowships. Gundogan Ibrisim's work has appeared in journals such as European Review, The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Journal of World Literature as well as edited volumes including The Routledge Companion to Literature and Trauma; Animals, Plants and Landscapes: An Ecology of Turkish Literature and Film; Subaltern Women's Narratives; Mapping World Anglophone Studies. She serves as the official Management Committee Member for Turkey of the Cost Action Project: CA20105 - Slow Memory: Transformative Practices for Times of Uneven and Accelerating Change (2021-2025). She also acts as the Grant Writing Coordinator in this action.


Roseanne Kennedy

Multidirectional Memory and the Aesthetics of Care

Memory scholars have advocated the need to move beyond violence, loss and trauma in the study of cultural memory, and to focus on futurity and memories that express hope and optimism. This re-orientation of the field is challenging in an era of climate change, which is perhaps best described as conveying emotions of "dread forward" (Cho). In this talk, I propose that Gabrielle Brady's hybrid documentary film, Island of the Hungry Ghosts (Australia, 2019), offers valuable insights for memory scholars concerned with developing more generative and future-oriented frameworks for grasping the entanglements of human and non-human lives in conditions of vulnerability. While the film, set on Christmas Island, mediates traumatic memories of migration and displacement over generations, it does so by drawing viewers into a rich sensorial engagement with the island and its creatures as a living eco-system. Approaching the film through the lens of "multidirectional eco-memory" (Kennedy, 2017), I argue that the film's expansive vision both represents and practices an aesthetics of care that may be valuable in an era that demands urgent care to prevent and ameliorate harm to the ecological environments in which we live in.

Bio: Rosanne Kennedy is an interdisciplinary Humanities scholar in Literary Studies and Gender, Sexuality and Culture at the Australian National University. Working at the intersection of cultural memory studies, human rights, postcolonial literature and environmental humanities, her research explores the ways in which writers, artists and filmmakers have responded to legacies of settler colonialism, dispossession, indefinite detention and environmental catastrophe in the present. Her research in environmental humanities has been published in an award-winning issue of Biography on 'Post-Human Lives' (2012) and in The Routledge Companion to Environmental Humanities (2017).


Lucy Bond and Jessica Rapson

'Vanishing Points': Researching legacies of racialized capitalism in disappearing memory environments

This paper sketches methodological possibilities and challenges for the exploration of vanishing landscapes in the Gulf coast states of the American Deep South. We take as a starting point the web-based app 'Vanishing Points', which: "enables community members in South Louisiana to identify points of cultural significance that are threatened due to land subsidence, sea level rise and coastal erosion […] community members log memories, interviews, and photos of places that have defined their community for generations, but are now disappearing (Vanishing Points, 2021). The subsidence and erosion here is a direct result of processed of racialized capitalism and environmental racism; the development of major on- and off-shore oil infrastructure exacerbates the impacts of climate change in this area, displacing minority and indigenous communities and polluting remaining settlements. In this paper we reflect on fieldwork experience in disappearing memory environments. State and regional tourist authorities encourage visitors to travel through the wetlands and experience the 'authentic' culture of the area, even as the communities concerned, and their culture and heritage, are being actively and rapidly displaced and eroded, and disappearing from the map. The Vanishing Points app allows travellers to seek out what is being lost, but inevitably guides them to places where there is little left to see and few people left to remember. Researching these uncanny landscapes is an act of witnessing many losses; we explore how such witnessing renders the many slow violences (Nixon 2011) of racialized capitalism visible, tangible and urgent. This paper is part of the larger project, Processing Memory: Heritage, Industry and Environmental Racism in the American Gulf Coast States.

Bio: Lucy Bond is a Reader in Literature and Culture at the University of Westminster. Jessica Rapson is a Senior Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King's College London. Their joint publications include The Transcultural Turn: Interrogating Memory Between and Beyond Borders (2014) and Planetary Memory in Contemporary American Fiction (2017). 

Professor Culture, Media and Communication
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University Of Leeds
Dr/Lecturer
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King's College London
MSCA Postdoctoral Fellow
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Sabanci University
A/Professor
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The Australian National University
Reader in Cultural Memory and Trauma Studies
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University of Westminster
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 Rebecca Dolgoy
Curator of Natural Resources and Industrial Technologies
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Ingenium
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