Narrative and Memory: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics

Narrative and Memory: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics is a three-year international research initiative funded by the Nordic Summer University ( with the aim to investigate how different storytelling practices of literature, audiovisual arts, social media and oral testimonies address the legacies of twentieth-century European conflicts and how they travel across national borders. It is an interdisciplinary network that brings together scholars of narrative and memory from the Nordic and Baltic countries and Great Britain. The research circle aims to contribute to public debate on issues of memory, war, displacement and the future of Europe in the current political situation marked by the refugee crisis.


Summer Symposium


Roosta, Estonia, 28 July–4 August 2019


Sunday 28 July: Arrival and Registration

18:00-19:30 Dinner

19.30 Welcome Event


Monday 29 July

7:30-9:00 Breakfast (and Children’s Circle intro)

(7:15-8:00 Morning Exercise Session)

9:00-12:15 Session 1: Theorising Positionality and Agency

Welcome and introductions (Eneken Laanes and Hanna Meretoja)

Siobhan Kattago: The Ghosts of Cain and Abel: Am I my Brother’s Keeper?

Colin Davis: What Should be Forgotten?

12:15-13:45 Lunch

13:45-15:15 Session 2: Reading Seminar

from Emmanuel Levinas, Difficult Freedom: Essays on Judaism

15:15-15:30 Coffee

15:30-17:00 Keynote: Anna Reading: Eco-Queering Memory

18:00-19:30 Welcome Dinner

(20:45-21:30 Cultural Program: Film Night)


Tuesday 30 July

7:30-9:00 Breakfast

(7:15-8:00 Morning Exercise Session)

9:00-12:15 Session 3: Implicated Subjects of Slavery, Colonialism and Slow Violence

Kim Rostan, Kimberly Hall: Vernacular Activism in Testimonies for Racial Justice

Eric Doise: No Neutral Ground: Katrina’s Long History in Spike Lee’s If God Is Willing

Didymus Dounla: The Dilemmas of Repentance in J. M. Coetzee’sAge of Ironand Diary of a Bad Year

Debaditya Bhattacharya: Testifying to the Secrets of Law: Of Juridical Conscience and the Case of Bilkis Bano

12:15-13:45 Lunch

13:45-15:15 A chance to visit other circles

15:15-15:30 Coffee

15:30-17:00 Keynote: Naomi Scheman: On Being Unsettled

18:00-19:30 Dinner

(19:30 Cultural Program: Theatre Night)


Wednesday 31 July

7:30-9:00 Breakfast

(7:15-8:00 Morning Exercise Session)

9:00-12:15 Session 4: Positionality and Agency in Women’s Narratives

Rebecca Rosenberg: Narratives of Criminelles: Victims and Survivors in Le châtiment des hypocrites(2001) by Leïla Marouane and Nulle autre voix(2018) by Maïssa Bey

Helena Duffy: From Victim to Perpetrator: On the Blurring of Identities in Soazig

Aaron’s Le Nom de Klara(2002)

Avril Tynan: Female Agency, Narrative Silence, and the #MeToo era: Gendered Trauma in Marguerite Duras’ Hiroshima mon amour

Kirsi Tuohela: The Last Patient. Remembering and Narrating the Death of Asylum System in the Neo-liberal Era

12:15-13:45 Lunch

13:45-15:15 Session 5: Reading Seminar

from Hanna Meretoja, The Ethics of Storytelling: Narrative Hermeneutics, History, and the Possible, Chapter 6

15:15-15:30 Coffee

15:30-17:00 Keynote: Anna Reading: Hopeful Agency: Re-Mixing Migration Memory through Participatory Mixed Media

18:00-19:30 Dinner

(19:30 Cultural Program: Literary Program)


Thursday 1 August: The Excursion Day

18:00-19.30 Circle Dinner: BBQ


Friday 2 August

7:30-9:00 Breakfast

(7:15-8:00 Morning Exercise Session)

9:00-12:05 Session 6: Personal Responsibility and (Literary) Form/ Voicing

Yu-Hua Yen: Integration and Integrity: The Storyteller’s Agency

Aura Lounasmaa: Co-creation and Partnerships with (Refugee) Students: Can We Create De-colonising Narratives from Position of Privilege?

Hannah Kalverda: She Threw Her Voice and then Took it Back: Ventriloquism and Ethics in Grace Nichols’ Poetry

12.15-13:45 Lunch

13:45-15:15 Session 7: Reading Seminar 

from Michael Rothberg, The Implicated Subjects: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators

15:15-15:30 Coffee

15:30-17:00 Keynote: Naomi Scheman: Stones as Stories: Toward an Epis- temology for 21st Century Research Universities

18:00-19:30 Dinner

(19:30 Cultural Program)


Saturday 3 August

7:30-9:00 Breakfast

(7:15-8:00 Morning Exercise Session)

9:00-12:15 Session 8: Agency and Artistic Strategies

Nic Cooper: Contemporary Artists as Agents for Alternative Histories and Radical Identities

Michael Kjaer: Mnemonic Reimagining

Concluding reflections

12:15-13:45 Lunch

13:45-15:15 A chance to visit other circles

15:15-15:30 Coffee

17:00-18:00 Football

18:00-19:30 Party

(20:00 Cultural Porgram)


5 August: Departure


CFP Summer Session Roosta 2019

Programme Winter Session Turku 2019

CFP Winter Session Turku 2019

Programme Summer Session Fårö 2018

CFP Summer Session Fårö 2018

CFP Winter Session 2018

Programme Winter Session Kristiansand 2018

CFP Summer Session 2017

Programme Summer Session Saulkrasti 2017

CFP Winter Session 2017

Programme Winter Session Tallinn 2017



Eneken Laanes (Estonia)
Coordinator Study Circle 4
eneken.laanes [at]
Study Circle 4: Narrative and Memory

Hanna Meretoja (Finland)
Coordinator Study Circle 4
hailme [at]
Study Circle 4: Narrative and Memory