St. Paul, Minn. –  “Visualities of Memory,” a symposium featuring keynote speaker Annette Blum, Macalester faculty, a film screening and roundtable discussions, is September 18-19 at Macalester College, and is free and open to the public.   It brings together a broad spectrum of Macalester departments (Anthropology, Art and Art History, Biology, Classics, French and Francophone Studies, History, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Russian Studies, Sociology, and Theatre and Dance) for a discussion on various interpretations, approaches and experiences of memory. The symposium will focus on the visual dimension of memory and its manifestations, processes, and representations in a variety of media, through mental eruptions, particularly of traumatic memories.

Thursday, September 18:
10 p.m. The Act of Killing – Intro, Screening, Commentary|
Nominated for a 2012 Documentary Film Academy Award, The Act of Killing is about Indonesian authorities’ abuse of power and role in that country’s traumatic experience of mass murder. Religious Studies Prof. Erik Davis will introduce the film and lead a discussion after.  John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center, 7 p.m., FREE, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, Minn., 651-696-6605.

Friday, September 19:
3:30 – 9 p.m.
– Poster sessions and roundtable presentations/discussions with several Macalester faculty:
Presenters: Adrienne Christiansen, Julia Chadaga, Olga González, Vanessa Rousseau, Joëlle Vitiello & Vicky Karaiskou.
Darcy Burgund
(Psychology): Visualizing Memory in the Brain Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Erik W. Davis (Religious Studies): Contesting Mass Murder Memories in Cambodia.
Olga González (Anthropology): Memory, Trauma, and Repetition in the Andean Visual Art of the “Times of Danger.”Brian Lush (Classics): Commemoration of War Trauma in Athenian Tragedy: A Brief Overview.
Sears Eldredge (Theatre and Dance): Captive Audiences/Captive Performers.
Devavani Chatterjea (Biology, Community and Global Health): Remembered in the Body: Biomedical Visualities of Memory.
Julia B. Chadaga (Russian Studies): Visualizing History in Soviet and Post-Soviet Urban Space.
Ernesto Capello (History): Street Images at War: Anti-American Protest of US Diplomatic Tours to Latin America, 1945-1969.
Kari Shepherdson-Scott (Art and Art History): Nostalgia, Privilege, and the Postwar Memory of Japanese Manchuria.
Joëlle Vitiello (French and Francophone Studies): Traumatic Irruptions of the Algerian War of Independence in French and Algerian Films.

7:45 p.m. – Keynote speaker, Annette Blum, associate professor of Inclusive Design at OCAD University (Ontario College of Art and Design,) in Toronto will talk about “‘Speaking Memory’, Visual Narrative and Healing: Filling in the Gaps and Silences in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” 

8:45 p.m. Distinguished Visiting Scholar Vicky Karaiskou, Art and Art History, Minds and bodies between private and public: who influences what?

All Friday events are free and in Weyerhaeuser Board Room, 1600 Grand Ave., 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, Minn., 651-696-6605.

Prof. Joëlle Vitiello, French and Francophone Studies, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar Vicky Karaiskou, Art and Art History, organized the symposium that was the result of the spring 2014 faculty reading and discussion group “Art, Collective Memory and Trauma.”

The symposium is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation’s “New Perspectives on the Fine Arts” grant.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,011 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

August 27 2014

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