The study of memory is booming in the humanities and social sciences. Increasingly more scholars turn their attention to how the past informs the present and future, how people attribute meaning to past events that they haven’t witnessed, how competing memories of the past sustain present conflicts, and how commemoration and memory education can make the world a better place. But also outside of the university, memory is booming: statues are being toppled, history text books are being rewritten, and cultural heritage is becoming more and more constitutive of national and other identities.
To tackle these social and historical issues, and take on the scholarly challenge, the Department of Humanities and the Department of Sociology and Social Research have established an Interdepartmental Laboratory of Memory and Society of the University of Trento (LIMS). The lab was established in 2022 with a grant from the University of Trento.
The lab proposes to offer a platform for innovative research activities, stemming from the dialogue between the humanities and the social sciences. The respective departments have longstanding traditions and reputations of excellence in cultural sociology and cultural trauma, and in the mnemohistory and anthropology of the ancient world. The lab will bring these interests and expertise together in research seminars, workshops, supervision and publications, with a constant commitment in outreach, dissemination and education.
The lab works closely with another Laboratory of the University of Trento (LabSA - Ancient Civilization Lab) and is affiliated with TraMe - Center for the Semiotic Study of Memory in Bologna and with the Memory Studies Association; other affiliations with international memory networks, forums and associations will be established in due course.
An official presentation of the Lab is scheduled on Dec. 16th, 2022: a round table on the theme 'What is memory?' is scheduled at 10am (Department of Humanities, room 007), with the participation of several memory scholars, from different Departments of the University of Trento, and Sarah Gensburger (French National Center for Scientific Research), current president of the Memory Studies Association.
Starting from spring 2023 the lab will set up a permanent interdisciplinary seminar, which includes discussions and debates between memory scholars on the big questions that are driving the field, as well as discussions of recent books engaging with memory from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Two inaugural lectures by two eminent memory scholars, Prof. Dr. Aleida Assmann (University of Konstanz) and Prof. Dr. Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp (University of Köln) are scheduled in 2023, on 3 March and 9 November, respectively. An international and interdisciplinary conference is expected to take place by the end of 2024. A Summer/Winter school on memory studies is also in the lab plans.
While waiting for a proper website, news and events concerning the LIMS activities will be advertised on the respective webpages of the Department of Humanities and Department of Sociology, as well as on the LIMS Facebook page.
Founding members are Giuseppe Sciortino and Maurizio Giangiulio, together with Giorgia Proietti, Andrea Cossu, Elena Franchi, Thomas van de Putte (former member of the University of Trento, now at the Université catholique de Louvain). Also participating to the lab's activities are fellows from the Departments of Humanities, Sociology, Law, and Psychology of the University of Trento, ranging from Full professors to Phd students: Ester Gallo, Daniela Giudici, Luca Pes, Diego Bordoni, Marco Ferrario, Luca Valle Salazar.
For further details: laboratorio.lims [at] unitn.it; giorgia.proietti [at] unitn.it