Reviving Memory and Overcoming Oblivion: Comparative Aspects
: 30/06/2022
: Vinius
: Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore




International Scientific Conference

Reviving Memory and Overcoming Oblivion: Comparative Aspects

November 10-11, 2022

Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore


Closing date for submissions: June 30, 2022


Conference fee: 40 EUR (paid by July 31, 2022) or 55 EUR (paid by September 30, 2020). For members of the Lithuanian Comparative Literature Association: 20 EUR.

Conference languages: Lithuanian, English.

The conference will take place at the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore (Antakalnio St. 6, LT-10308 Vilnius, Lithuania).

The event will be hybrid.

Keynote speakers:

Krzysztof Czyżewski (Professor of the University of Bologna, President of the Borderland Foundation, Director of the Centre “Borderland of Arts, Cultures and Nations”)

Zanda Gūtmane (Professor of the Liepāja University)

Neringa Klumbytė (Associate Professor of the Miami University in Ohio)

Aurimas Švedas (Associate Professor of the Vilnius University, Deputy Director for Foreign Relations and Communication of the Lithuanian Institute of History).

Memory is a multilayered phenomenon of structuring the past. It manifests itself in various forms in the life of the individual, as well as in the life of particular groups, cultures or societies. Individual memory is more closely associated with authentic personal experience, history and private time, whereas collective memory is associated with the community and historical time.

The cultural process of memory also involves oblivion, a phenomenon that is even more difficult to grasp and define, and which has become one of the pillars of memory research. It is important not only what and how we remember but also what, how and why we forget. Therefore, we propose to explore the ways in which the contents of the past and experience are expressed in culture and art, and to compare the forms of memory in different cultures. Literature is a particularly apt and distinctive medium for individual and collective memory.

Although research on collective memory in Europe and the Baltic States has been carried out for more than a decade, it is still relevant today. The active involvement of society in the creation of memory has been a witness to that. The renewed ‘memory wars,’ debates over monuments, public spaces, activities of memory or heritage organizations, historical literary works and screen adaptations are often subjected to criticism or escalated reactions. Private and secret archives open wider to the public, autobiographies are becoming more popular, and epistolary works are being published, which not so long ago have been accessible only to the staff of archives and museums.

The role of memory is changing as well. The search for dialogical memory and connecting forms of collective identity has brought to attention the importance of diverse communities. Thus, it is important to highlight the correlations between memory and identities. It is also necessary to analyze the links between personal and collective, societal, ethnic, national and regional, and international interests.

Differences and tensions are even more pronounced when crossing the borders of a country, or even a region. Therefore, we particularly welcome contributions that compare and emphasize the links and contradictions between cultural phenomena and literary works of individual countries and regions.

Memory is also part of philosophy, history, sociology, psychology, anthropology, media studies and other fields. By offering an open space for discussion and exchange of ideas, the organizers of the conference invite representatives of various fields to analyze the phenomenon of memory from different perspectives and to learn of the efficiency of interdisciplinary approaches.

We invite to discuss the nuances of the methodology of collective memory research, the culture and media of memory, the concept of forgetting and its expression, the relationship of memory to place, its role in identity, and the issues of narratives of the past. We welcome twenty-minute presentations in various formats: comparative analyses, case studies, theoretical and methodological approaches and examples of research practices.

We invite proposals for papers on the following subtopics:

Section I: Methodology and Interdisciplinary Approach in Memory Research

-The interactions between memory and mentalities research

-Recent approaches to individual and collective memory research

-Selective and (re)constructive memory

-The relationship between memory and forgetting

Section II: Topography of Memory

-Memory of place (philotopia)

-Urban and agrarian memory

-The role of landscape and scenery in works of art

-Memory in travel literature

Section III: Dialectics of Memory / Oblivion in Literature and Art

-The literary canon and forgotten texts and authors

-Narratives of memory loss and recovery

-Forms and shapes of forgetting

-The phenomenon of nostalgia

-Memory and imagination in egodocuments

Section IV: Mediators and Creators of Memory

-The writer as (re)constructor of memory

-Literary screenings and theater stagings as a way to overcome oblivion

-Literary archives and heritage: good practice examples

-Collective memory in the curriculum

-Forms of literary memory in virtual space

Section V: Collective Memory and Identity

-Memory and generational differences

-Memory of the Self and the Other

-Memory of ethnic minorities

-Memory of social groups and subcultures

-Interactions between individual and collective memory in creative work

Section VI: Memory and the Specifics of the Baltic Region

-The problems of Baltic region memory research

-Memory communities of the Baltic States

-Dominant chronotopes of the Balts and Baltic

-Lithuanian and Latvian memory in world literature

Section VII: War and Memory

- Memories of war and memory wars

- The struggle of national revival movements for collective memory

- The remaking and falsification of memory

- Constructing war propaganda

- Memories of war in literature and egodocuments.

We welcome abstracts of 150-200 words for twenty-minute presentations and short bio

no later than June 30, 2022. Email your abstract and bio to

When registering, please indicate whether you will be attending the conference live or remotely.

English-language articles based on the conference papers and selected by the Scientific Committee will be published in the peer-reviewed journal Acta litteraria comparativa.

Scientific Committee:

Dr. Gintarė Bernotienė

Doc. Dr. Vigmantas Butkus

Prof. Dr. Zanda Gūtmane

Dr. Viktorija Jonkutė

Prof. Hélène de Penanros

Prof. John Pier

Doc. Dr. Dainius Vaitiekūnas

Dr. Manfredas Žvirgždas

Organizing Committee:

Dr. Dalia Cidzikaitė

Doc. Dr. Žydronė Kolevinskienė

Prof. Dr. Dalia Kuizinienė

Dr. Laura Laurušaitė