The 20th century – an epoch of genocides – will be forever associated with feelings of guilt and shame. And it is not only the case of perpetrators. People are still ashamed of their ancestors and of the members of their nations, societies or families. Those who suffered from crimes and cruelties often experience survivor guilt, a mysterious phenomenon that psychotherapists try to tame. The status of bystanders is nowadays more and more often called into question, as it became clear that remaining “neutral” in the face of violence and atrocities was simply impossible. At the same time, many of both the victims and executioners make efforts to forget about the past events and repress the uncomfortable emotions. Others forget the facts involuntarily. Yet others cultivate false memories of what never occurred. Politicians impose their own narratives of history, with the hope of re-shaping the common convictions and achieving their short-sighted goals. Therefore, researchers dealing with memory studies of various kinds aim at explaining the complex relations of facts and phantasms, real and imagined guilt, justified and irrational shame.
On the other hand, modern societies seem to exist in the realm of complete shamelessness. More and more people reveal the hallmarks of narcissistic personality. They do not care about protecting their privacy. On the contrary, they are proud of exposing as much as possible from their intimate life. Exhibitionistic behaviors appear to be predominant traits of those who want to capture others’ attention.
These and other factors provoke us to concentrate on the themes of memory, guilt and shame – in the present-day world as well as in the past. We want to describe these phenomena in their multifarious aspects: psychological, social, historical, cultural, philosophical, religious, political, and many others. We also want to devote considerable attention to how these issues appear in artistic practices: literature, film, theatre or visual arts. That is why we invite researchers representing various academic disciplines: anthropology, history, psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, sociology, politics, philosophy, literary studies, theatre studies, film studies, memory studies, consciousness studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, medical sciences, cognitive sciences, and others.
Different forms of presentations are encouraged, including case studies, theoretical investigations, problem-oriented arguments, and comparative analyses.
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.
1. Guilt, shame and genocides
2. Guilt and shame in social life
3. Guilt and shame in politics
4. Guilt and shame in interpersonal relationships
5. Pathology and therapy
7. Representation of guilt and shame
Memory, Guilt and Shame - International Interdisciplinary Conference