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26.10.2019 12:39 Alter: 46 days

Memory, Guilt and Shame

Call for Papers

Theme: Memory, Guilt and Shame
Type: International Interdisciplinary Conference
Institution: InMind Support
Location: Gdańsk (Poland)
Date: 26.–27.3.2020
Deadline: 31.1.2020

The 20th century – an epoch of genocides – will be forever associated
with feelings of guilt and shame. And it is not only the case of
perpetrators. People are still ashamed of their ancestors and of the
members of their nations, societies or families. Those who suffered
from crimes and cruelties often experience survivor guilt, a
mysterious phenomenon that psychotherapists try to tame. The status
of bystanders is nowadays more and more often called into question,
as it became clear that remaining “neutral” in the face of violence
and atrocities was simply impossible. At the same time, many of both
the victims and executioners make efforts to forget about the past
events and repress the uncomfortable emotions. Others forget the
facts involuntarily. Yet others cultivate false memories of what
never occurred. Politicians impose their own narratives of history,
with the hope of re-shaping the common convictions and achieving
their short-sighted goals. Therefore, researchers dealing with memory
studies of various kinds aim at explaining the complex relations of
facts and phantasms, real and imagined guilt, justified and
irrational shame.

On the other hand, modern societies seem to exist in the realm of
complete shamelessness. More and more people reveal the hallmarks of
narcissistic personality. They do not care about protecting their
privacy. On the contrary, they are proud of exposing as much as
possible from their intimate life. Exhibitionistic behaviors appear
to be predominant traits of those who want to capture others’

These and other factors provoke us to concentrate on the themes of
memory, guilt and shame – in the present-day world as well as in the
past. We want to describe these phenomena in their multifarious
aspects: psychological, social, historical, cultural, philosophical,
religious, political, and many others. We also want to devote
considerable attention to how these issues appear in artistic
practices: literature, film, theatre or visual arts. That is why we
invite researchers representing various academic disciplines:
anthropology, history, psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry,
sociology, politics, philosophy, literary studies, theatre studies,
film studies, memory studies, consciousness studies, gender studies,
postcolonial studies, medical sciences, cognitive sciences, and

Different forms of presentations are encouraged, including case
studies, theoretical investigations, problem-oriented arguments, and
comparative analyses.

We will be happy to hear from both experienced scholars and young
academics at the start of their careers, as well as doctoral
students. We also invite all persons interested in participating in
the conference as listeners, without giving a presentation.

Our repertoire of suggested topics includes but is not restricted to:

1. Guilt, shame and genocides

- Victims’ shame
- Perpetrators’ shame
- Survivor guilt
- Inherited guilt
- Forgetfulness
- Guilt repression
- Distorted memories
- Forgiveness 

2. Guilt and shame in social life

- Shame and nationalism
- Shame and xenophobia
- Shame and colonialism
- Shame and racism
- White guilt
- Shame and anti-Semitism
- Shame and infamy
- Eco-guilt
- Guilt and Anthropocene
- Guilt and gender
- Guilt and LGBT
- Guilt-free consumption
- Guilt appeal in commercials 

3. Guilt and shame in politics

- Guilt and propaganda
- Shame and pride
- Shame and “historical policy”
- Shameless politicians
- Guilt and political correctness

4. Guilt and shame in interpersonal relationships

- Shame and love
- Shame and intimacy
- Shame and eroticism
- Shame and privacy
- Shamelessness
- Parents’ guilt
- Children’s guilt
- Caregivers’ guilt 

5. Pathology and therapy

- Guilt complex
- Guilt and suicide
- Shame and narcissism
- Shame and exhibitionism
- Guilt and shame in psychotherapeutic treatment
- Shame in psychoanalysis

6. Guilt and shame in religions

- Guilt and sin
- Guilt and confession
- Guilt and absolution
- Guilt and condemnation  
- Crimes committed in the name of God
- Guilt and shame in the Catholic Church

7. Representation of guilt and shame

- Literature
- Theatre
- Visual arts
- Songs
- The media

Please submit abstracts (no longer than 300 words) of your proposed
20-minute presentations, together with a short biographical note, by
31 January 2020 to:

Scientific Committee:
Prof. Wojciech Owczarski - University of Gdańsk, Poland
Dr. Katarzyna Kręglewska - University of Gdańsk, Poland
Dr. Ricardo Rato Rodrigues - Jagiellonian University, Poland

Conference website: