HomeMemory of Migrations and Diasporas / Family Memories of Mass Violence and Slavery

HomeMemory of Migrations and Diasporas / Family Memories of Mass Violence and Slavery

Memory of Migrations and Diasporas / Family Memories of Mass Violence and Slavery

International Sociological Association forum of sociology 2020

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Published on Thursday, August 08, 2019


For the IVth ISA (International Sociological Association) Forum that will take place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, we organize two sessions with the Research Committee Historical Sociology. We would like to welcome contributors from a wide variety of research fields in order to discuss issues related to social, cultural and collective memory. One of the sessions will focus on migrations and diasporic experiences, in particular on family memories. The second session is about intergenerational transmission in families in contexts of mass violence, slavery or war.



1. Memory of Migrations and Diasporas

This session invites researchers to use conceptual tools of memory studies in order to discuss migrations and diasporic experiences over long time. Even though migrations are widely studied by sociologists, the temporality of the studies often depend on current public debates such as integration, while they are solicited by policy makers' and research funds' agenda. In this session, we will try to go beyond presentism, while considering the "common" feeling of belonging to foreign countries and continents, as well as to diasporic communities. We would like to question the changing collective representations of the origins, the continuities and ruptures in the way memories of the migration shape subjectivities, cultural practices and aspirations for future, after one or several generations.

How do individuals and the families transmit, silence, forget, distort or recreate souvenirs ; how do they form their mnemonic narratives and practices in order to construct their post-migratory trajectories ? What differences and similarities can be found between memories, values, ways of remembering and aspirations of families with a past of forced migrations (as consequences of mass violence, wars, slavery or colonization) and those related with "pull factors"?

Communications which analyse family dynamics of memory making are very welcome in this session, but not exclusively.

2. Remembering What Happened to My (Fore-)Father or Mother. Family Memories of Mass Violence and Slavery

This session invites researchers from a wide range of fields and geographical areas to highlight and discuss the remaining presence of History in family memories and the way it still affects further generations. How the memory of the Holocaust, of other genocides and wars, but also of longer-lasting structural violences such as slavery in North-America or Brazil is shaped, transmitted, silenced or reaffirmed among descendants? How this experienced past and its indirect memories have been transmitted over time, even inside families where they seem faded away? How do family secrets and difficult reminiscences reappear one or more generations after? Jeffrey Olick and Joyce Robbins (1998) proposed a shift of perspective from « "collective memory" to the historical sociology of mnemonic practices ». One can question the intersubjective dynamics within families. The focus of the study can also be broadened to local communities' memories, that are connected to a neighborhood (or any topos), which contributes to the form of remembrance, in contrast with a large-scale and more homogeneous collective memory of events. Jan Assman (1992) considers social memory as "the connective structure of societies". As such, memory is a privileged object for historical sociology. And social memory is elaborated at many different levels, from the family to the State. This session can openly explore these interconnexions, interdependencies, tensions and contradictions between private sphere and institutional memories.

Submission guidelines

Please send your abstract (300 words) via the online submission portal

no later than September 20th 2019.

Session Organizers

  • Deniz Günce DEMIRHISAR, Ph.D. (EHESS - IFEA) denizgunce@gmail.com
  • Ilan LEW (Université de Genève - EHESS) ilanlew@gmail.com

Research Committee

RC56 Historical Sociology (host committee)


  • Porto Alegre, Brazil


  • Friday, September 20, 2019

Attached files


  • memory, family, generation, migration, diaspora, mass violence, war


  • Ilan Lew
    courriel : ilanlew [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Deniz Günce Demirhisar
    courriel : denizgunce [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Deniz Günce Demirhisar
    courriel : denizgunce [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Memory of Migrations and Diasporas / Family Memories of Mass Violence and Slavery », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, August 08, 2019, https://calenda.org/658842

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