Cultural Memory and HIV/AIDS

Dublin City University

14 November 2019 – 15 November 2019

Hosted in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS) at Dublin City University (DCU), this world conference is organised by EROSS (Expressions, Research Orientations: Sexuality Studies). The conference aims to explore the dynamics of cultural memory and its confluence with HIV/AIDS.

‘Cultural memory’ denotes the collective understandings, or constructions, of the distant past, as they are held by people in a given social and historical context. Such ‘retrospective memory’ manifests itself in history and culture, and can involve rituals and ceremonies at special occasions such as commemoration days, and at special places such as ancient monuments, which function as time marks and sites of memory. 

Cultural memory is not about giving testimony of past events, as accurately and truthful as possible, nor is it necessarily about ensuring cultural continuity: it is about making meaningful statements about the past in a given cultural context of the present (Borofsky 1987; Friedman 1992; Niethammer 199; Shanks 1996). The concept of cultural memory thus corresponds to studies of other forms of memory in society, which have shown how even personal recollections by individuals, concerning the (fairly recent) past of their own lifetime, do not support the view that memory is a simple storage place for information which can be retrieved later on, but suggest that in memory the past is actively constructed depending on certain social and mental conditions.

The conference specifically aims to deal with the relationship between HIV/AIDS and cultural memory from a different set of disciplines, from the perspectives of humanities (HIV/AIDS studies, architecture and design, artivism, cultural studies, education studies, geocriticism, medical humanities) or social sciences (activism, ethnology, media and communication, memory studies, sociology, political sciences, urban studies).

Conference Dates:

Thursday 14 November 2019, Friday 15 November 2019

Saturday 16 November 2019

Conference Venue:

Dublin City University, Glasnevin Campus

Conference Organisers:

Alicia Castillo Villanueva, Jean-Philippe Imbert, Robbie Lawlor

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