Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia - 4 th International Interdisciplinary Memory Conference in Gdansk

Venue: University of Gdansk

Location: Gdansk, Poland

Event Date/Time: Sep 17, 2015 / 9:00 am - (GMT +1:00 hours) End Date/Time: Sep 18, 2015 / 8:00 pm - (GMT +1:00 hours)
Registration Date: Jul 31, 2015 Time: 23:59:00(GMT +1:00 hours)
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Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia

International Interdisciplinary Conference in Gdańsk, Poland


17th-18th September 2015

Deadline for proposals: 15th June 2015



Professor Wojciech Owczarski – University of Gdańsk (Poland)

Professor Paulo Endo - University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)

Amanda Chalupa – McGill University (Canada)

Co-organizer: InMind Support


          Human memory has a saving power and constitutes the fundament of identity, yet at the same time it can cause concerns and anxiety.

In the three previous editions of our Gdańsk conference, which brought together more than three hundred scholars from around the world, we looked at the relationship between memory and solidarity (“Solidarity, Memory and Identity”, 2012), memory and dreams (“Dreams, Phantasms and Memories”, 2013), as well as memory and forgetting (“Memory: Forgetting and Creating”, 2014). This year, we would like to concentrate on the phenomena of nostalgia and melancholy. We are interested in all expressions of longing for the past, from the reassuring and action-propelling ones to those which paralyze us, bringing despair and utter dejection. In our modern world, which some have argued to be disjointed while immersing itself ever deeper in crisis, the turning back towards “the olden days” and the ensuing nostalgia constitute a noticeable phenomenon, both individually (the memory of biography) and collectively (the memory of History). Another important – and seemingly also quite noticeable – phenomenon  is the longing for something vague, indefinite or never existent.

            We want to describe the experience of nostalgia and melancholy in its multifarious manifestations: psychological, social, historical, cultural, philosophical, religious, economic, political, artistic, and many others. That is why we invite researchers representing various academic disciplines: anthropology, history, psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, politics, philosophy, economics, law, design, project management, history of literature, theatre studies, film studies, memory studies, migration studies, consciousness studies, dream studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, medical sciences, psychiatry, cognitive sciences et al.

            Different forms of presentations are encouraged, including case studies, theoretical investigations, problem-oriented arguments, and comparative analyses.

            We will be happy to hear from both experienced scholars and young academics at the start of their careers, as well as doctoral students. We also invite all persons interested in participating in the conference as listeners, without giving a presentation.

            We hope that due to its interdisciplinary nature, the conference will bring many interesting observations on and discussions about the role of memory, melancholy and nostalgia in the past and in the present-day world.


            Our repertoire of suggested topics includes but is not restricted to:


I. Memory and Affects

- unwanted memory

- nostalgia or melancholy?

- non-melancholic nostalgia

- nostalgia and longing

- the healing power of nostalgia

- nostalgia as an illness

- nostalgia and depression

- nostalgia and psychoanalysis



II. Common Experiences

- nostalgic epochs

- nostalgic nations

- nostalgic generations

- nostalgia and the myth of eternal return

- nostalgia, melancholy and totalitarianisms

- nostalgia and war

- nostalgia and melancholy of the expelled

- nostalgic patriotism

- nostalgia and nationalism

- nostalgia and gender

- nostalgia and religion

- nostalgia and language

- nostalgia and melancholy in the postmodern world

- nostalgia and post-memory


III. Individual Experiences

- return to childhood

- nostalgia for something indefinite

- nostalgia for the future

- nostalgia for a traumatic experience

- nostalgia and old age

- nostalgia and death

- nostalgia, melancholy and mourning

- nostalgia and love

- nostalgia and imagination

- nostalgic phantasms

- nostalgic dreams


IV. The Arts

- nostalgia and melancholy as a theme in literature, film, and theatre

- nostalgic literature

- nostalgic cinema

- literature and the arts as a vehicle of memory

- literature, theatre and film in search of lost time

- nostalgic literary genres

- melancholic artists


V. Society

- nostalgia and political movements

- nostalgia, melancholy and memory places

- nostalgia, melancholy and memorials

- nostalgia, melancholy and incentives

- nostalgia, melancholy and community development

- nostalgia, melancholy and migration

- nostalgia, melancholy and meaning-making

- nostalgia, melancholy and drive to change

- nostalgia and product development

- nostalgia and melancholy in the work environment

- nostalgia and melancholy in international development

- nostalgia and melancholy in leadership

- nostalgia and melancholy in policy


Please submit abstracts (no longer than 300 words) of your proposed 20-minute presentations, together with a short biographical note, by 15th June 2015 both to prof. Wojciech Owczarski, University of Gdańsk:


The confirmation of acceptance will be sent by 30th June 2015. The conference language is English. A selection of papers will be published in a post-conference volume.



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