2022 Congress

SFEE’s 21st international conference

Scottish Territories and Memories

November 17-19 2022

The 21st international conference of the French Society for Scottish Studies will take place at Sorbonne Université (Paris) from 17th to 19th November 2022. The three-day conference will explore the dynamic relationship(s) between the concepts of territory/territories and memory in a transdisciplinary approach. These topics were chosen as a tribute to the works of Christian Auer and Bernard Sellin.

Territory first brings to mind geographical contours: Scottish rural, urban, or insular territories… This notion can also be understood in its political dimension (administrative, national, devolved) and in its linguistic dimension (variety or homogeneity of dialects and sociolects). It can be defined by its limits (borders or obstacles) or by what transcends it, which raises the issue of Scottish territories (be they real or metaphorical) beyond the “borders” of Scotland. In the fields of arts and literature, the notion of territory can also be examined through the prisms of representation and exploration, and can, for instance, give rise to processes of creation, or re-creation, of memorialisation and interpretation. Memory can also be conceived as a space, of an ambiguous nature, sometimes metaphorical, sometimes intangible and sometimes deeply rooted in reality. Is memory to be perceived as an opened or enclosed space? A sanctuary? Is it personal? Intimate? Or collective? Should it be preserved? Or questioned?

The dynamics between the notions of memory and territory can be examined along various lines of interpretation, such as through (auto)biographical memoirs anchored within a specific place, through national memory (and/or national amnesia) embodied within historical sites, through the remnants of territories in dialects and the traces of history in the toponymy. The association of memory and territories also incites an examination of institutional memory (museums, memorials, national monuments, and less formal spaces of memory and remembrance). Possible topics for proposals may include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Imaginary tourism
  • Nostalgic or fantasised recollections of a place
  • Memory as a re(dis)covered territory
  • Biographical and autobiographical spaces
  • Ecopoetics: artistic or poetic traces inscribed within the land
  • Rewriting as a process of colonising or decolonising narrative space
  • In situ performance: the anchoring of an ephemeral event within a specific place
  • Mapping and toponymy as a means of remembering territories
  • Memorialisation of national myths and historical events; architecture and spaces of memory
  • Itinerant remembrances (migratory flows, exile, diaspora)
  • Decolonising collective memory
  • Preserving the past through onomastics, dialects and sociolects.
  • Places of linguistic resistance

Proposals for papers or doctoral posters (300-400 words) in English or French, with a working title and a short bio (200 words), should be sent to sfeec2022@gmail.com by 31st March 2022.

Organising committee: Mélanie Cournil, Jeanne Schaaf, Benjamine Toussaint.

Scientific committee: Ingibjörg Àgústsdóttir, Marion Amblard, Nathalie Duclos, Lesley Graham, Carla Sassi