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College of Visual and Performing Arts to host ‘Contesting Public Memories’ interdisciplinary conference, Oct. 6-8
College of Visual and Performing Arts to host ‘Contesting Public Memories’ interdisciplinary conference, Oct. 6-8September 16, 2005Jaime Winne Alvarez firstname.lastname@example.org
Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts will host an interdisciplinary conference, “Contesting Public Memories,” Oct. 6-8. The conference seeks to expand the broad conversation on public memory-the relationship with our shared past. It is being co-sponsored by VPA’s Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies and several other SU academic departments and units.
“Public memory is quickly becoming a hot topic in academe. Memory differs from traditional notions of history in that memories can change over time, be forgotten or recalled,” says Kendall Phillips, conference organizer and professor of communication and rhetorical studies. “The theme of the conference focuses on the way the memories of different communities can come into contest, which is something we see almost daily in situations like Native American land claims or the controversies swirling around the proposed memorial to the World Trade Center.”
Conference organizers invited academics across the globe to submit papers focusing on the dynamic interplay between, and around, public memories. More than 100 registrants and several keynote and plenary speakers will take part.
“While the conference theme is designed to be inclusive, the strongest sense of the contention of public memories is found in efforts to resist, resurrect and redefine memories,” says Phillips. This theme will be explored through investigation of three sub-themes-places, events and persons-in which ranges of topics, from theoretical to practical and from global to local, will be considered.
“Contesting Public Memories” is organized by faculty representing a variety of disciplines, including African American studies, architecture, art, communication studies, English, geography, Latino/Latin American studies, philosophy, religion and writing.
The conference schedule consists of an evening registration and welcome Oct. 6; academic panels, Oct. 7 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Oct. 8 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; and several free, public events, including:
Oct.6-8“Carrie Mae Weems: Forms of Memory.” Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery, Shaffer Art Building, SU. Exhibition by VPA artist-in-residence Weems, comprised of works thematically engaged with various aspects of memory. Ongoing, through Oct. 12. Gallery hours: Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m., and Wednesday, noon-8 p.m.
“Borders and Memory: Works by Chien-Chi Chang, Chan Chao, Jeeyun Kim, Bari Kuma and Daniel Lee.” Lowe Art Gallery. A selection of works by artists born in Asia who now reside in the United States, in which each artist, in either obvious or subtle ways, uses direct evidence or working through more metaphorical means to examine the continuum where border and memory merge. In conjunction with the Syracuse Symposium “Borders.” Ongoing, through Oct.12. See gallery hours above.
Oct. 7“Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of Segregation in America.” Keynote address by James Loewen. 7 p.m., Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building, SU. Loewen, a historiographer who researches how Americans remember their past, taught race relations at the University of Vermont for 20 years and authored the best-selling books “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong” and “Lies Across America: What Our Historic Markers and Monuments Got Wrong.” His latest book, “Sundown Towns,” will be released just prior to the conference. Parking is available in the Q4 lot, with overflow in Q3.
Oct. 8“Public and Private Forms of Memory.” Lecture by Carrie Mae Weems. 9 a.m., Lafayette Room, Marx Hotel. VPA’s artist-in-residence will discuss her complex body of art that intertwines themes of racism, family, gender, sexism, class, politics, cultural identity and history, woven into personal narratives.
“The Michael Gordon Band.” 8 p.m., Goldstein Auditorium, Schine Student Center, SU. The band will perform songs from its album “Light is Calling,” in conjunction with short films by Bill Morrison. Tickets are $5 for the general public and $2 with valid SU I.D. Parking is available in the Q4 lot, with overflow in Q3. Co-sponsored by SU’s Pulse.