Venue: Stellenbosch University
Dates: 5 – 9 December 2018

Call for Papers

Notification of abstract acceptance was sent out via email.

Call for Papers

What is the appropriate response to the echoes of historical wounding that extend far beyond the generation that experienced the trauma directly?

What strategies might quell the haunting repercussions of genocide, slavery, colonial oppression, and mass violence that play out in the lives of affected individuals and groups from both sides of these acts?

In the aftermath of violent pasts, and when people have suffered collective trauma, how are these events remembered, interpreted and articulated?

How might we map out the arc of historical trauma as a nexus for the interweaving of individual and collective traumatic memories?

What are the limitations of truth commissions and other prevailing strategies of public testimony established to advance national recovery and healing?

This conference will bring together a group of scholars and practitioners from different disciplinary backgrounds to reflect on these vexed questions of historical wounding, its haunting legacies and the strategies to heal the futures of those whose pasts are marked by trauma.

We invite abstract submissions that will address the themes of the conference and the questions raised by the conference themes. We encourage submissions by scholars and artists who have engaged with questions that concern the transgenerational repercussions of violent historical pasts, the memorialisation of these pasts and how this has played out in social life, and the representation of these issues through the arts in a range of national and transnational contexts.

The “sites” of these histories may include, but not limited to, countries such as Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, Indonesia, Australia, America, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa.

Individual papers, roundtables and panel discussions representing perspectives from disciplines in the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts in all its diverse forms will be considered.

A List of Themes to Consider

Obvious themes:

  • Historical trauma and memory
  • From individual to collective trauma
  • Violence and legacies of historical trauma
  • Aftermath of violent histories
  • Dealing with the past—memorials, representation of the past through the arts, truth commissions, gacaca, reparations, reconciliation, responsibility, etc

Not so obvious themes:

  • Perpetrators
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Nostalgia
  • Transgenerational transmission of shame and guilt
  • Denial
  • Response to symbols of the past

Guidelines for Submission of Abstracts

All abstracts should include a succinct title, name and affiliation of the presenter, and a short bio. Please note that abstracts for all accepted submissions will be published online and available with our programme e-book when the program is ready. To submit abstracts please open the link provided below:

Individual Papers

Abstracts of individual papers should not exceed 200 words.

Panel Submissions

The title and an abstract for the whole session should be submitted, and it should not exceed 250 words. Abstracts for each of the component papers of the session not exceeding 100 words, including titles should be submitted. Please try to organise panels that consist of no more than four participants.

Round Table Discussions

Round Table sessions should consist of between four and five participants. A single abstract with a clearly defined focus and not exceeding 300 words should include the title, theme and the question that the Round Table seeks to explore. Roundtables, that ask provocative questions, explore new intellectual frontiers and open up theoretical and/or political discussion that might inspire new perspectives will receive priority in the scheduling of the final programme. Participants in Round Table discussions are expected to prepare their remarks in advance and should not read papers.


Notification of abstract acceptance was sent out via email.

In the aftermath of violent pasts,
and when people have suffered collective trauma,
how are these events remembered,
interpreted and articulated?

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