LINGUIST List 32.753

Mon Mar 01 2021

Calls: Ling & Lit/Italy

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 01-Mar-2021
From: Giovanna Carloni <>
Subject: 1920-2020: un secolo di parole e immagini per raccontare / 1920-2020: A century of words and images telling the story of amnesia - International Conference
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Full Title: 1920-2020: un secolo di parole e immagini per raccontare / 1920-2020: A century of words and images telling the story of amnesia - International Conference

Date: 23-Sep-2021 - 24-Sep-2021
Location: Urbino, Italy
Contact Person: Giovanna Carloni
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Ling & Literature

Call Deadline: 30-Mar-2021

Meeting Description:

1920-2020: A century of words and images telling the story of amnesia - International Conference
23-24 September 2021, Urbino (University of Urbino Carlo Bo)

Degenerative illness(es), pain and death pose bio-ethical problems that cannot be tackled by medical science alone. Literary, multimodal and cinematic texts can also provide new, promising and complex perspectives on the ethical dilemmas connected to these facts of life, and may be vital to our understanding of their full implications. The creative presentation and re-elaboration of illness correlates to the human need to provide collective answers to the questions it poses to each individual – and it may go a long way towards promoting a much-needed debate on the topic, as well as a series of interdisciplinary exchanges between such diverse academic fields as bioethics, cognitive science, cultural theory, literary criticism, visual culture and linguistics.

The theme of the conference is the literary, multimodal and audiovisual representation of memory loss in all its forms – whether caused by neurological conditions (e.g. Alzheimer’s or other kinds of dementia) or by personal and/or historical trauma. The organizing committee welcomes contributions on the cultural and linguistic manifestations of memory loss with reference to the classical world as well as Italy, English- and French-speaking countries, Germany and Russia. Within the artistic and literary domains, researchers are invited to discuss the stylistic and rhetorical strategies employed by artists and writers to describe, narrate and present oblivion. In linguistic terms, the main focus is on the verbal or iconic item as a symptom of memory loss.

Call for Papers:

Sending a proposal for 30 minute talks:
Every proposal must contain the following items: A) title; B) abstract (maximum length: 1200 characters including spaces; C) a biosketch (max 10 lines); D) indication of the line of research (1/2).

Deadline: March 30, 2021
Acceptance/Refusal: May 15, 2021
Send to:
Languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish

Lines of Research:
Line 1 – LITERARY, VISUAL AND AUDIOVISUAL WORKS – All papers must discuss works published or released in the last century in Italian, English, French, German or Russian, with possible reference to classical cultural models. They must investigate the following phenomena: 1) memory loss caused by neuro-physiological degenerative illnesses (e.g. Alzheimer’s); 2) post-traumatic amnesia and psychological erasure (including allomnesia and memory illusions), due to historical events (the two World Wars, the Shoah, international terror, migration) and/or to personal experiences (illnesses, accidents, bereavement). The perspective can be either diachronic (the evolution of the problem, of its representation or self-representation) or synchronic (different contemporary presentations of the problem). Novels, autobiographies and autofictions, poems, graphic literature, songs, films, TV series and stage plays/theatrical productions are all viable analytical objects. One of the principal aims of the investigation is analyzing, even from an anthropological point of view, all the analogies and differences which attain to the representation of memory loss in different cultural contexts, and the ways in which the same narrative and/or symbolic patterns may be employed (synchronically and/or diachronically) in different situations: to make an example, the functional evolution of the Oedipus myth in contemporary culture, with the transformation of the themes of ignorance and guilt into the traumatic erasure of the very memory of guilt – also thanks to the synchronic filter of the psycho-analytical re-reading of the myth.

Line 2 – LINGUISTIC INVESTIGATIONS – Starting from a corpus of literary, multimodal and audiovisual texts which discuss the theme of memory loss, the proposed contributions must proceed to explore the linguistic levels (syntactic, lexical, morphological, discursive, suprasegmental) at which the symptoms and consequences of memory loss are most highlighted, as well as observe the compensating linguistic strategies employed. Contrastively, the contributions will compare the findings thus obtained with the linguistic production of real patients with aphasia, Alzheimer’s and other conditions and illnesses, with the general purpose of showing how fiction, through a modification of the perception of amnesia and memory loss, can produce both individual and collective resilience (in its figurative, interpretive, curative or even cathartic dimensions). Fictional words and images are thus important in terms of cultural awareness, recovery, and the integrity of the self, but also because they show the impact that post-traumatic amnesia and neurodegenerative illnesses have on the preservation of cultural memory (in this sense, see e.g. the cases of war veterans, Holocaust survivors and, more recently, the victims of terror attacks or migrants).

Page Updated: 01-Mar-2021