Remembering/Imagining Terror in Europe

Since 2004, various European cities have seen fatal attacks that have been classified as acts of terrorism, as well as numerous foiled and failed attacks. While urban terrorism has triggered an almost universal response in terms of spontaneous eruptions of grief and remembrance, conflicting voices and overlapping material-discursive responses continue to evolve – affecting security infrastructure, legislation, and activism. Amidst intensifying processes of securitisation, these affective and material reactions reveal a wide range of opinions and emotions that play out in public discourse, reflecting the contested practices of remembering, forgetting, and imagining terrorism.

This conference seeks to explore how people, agencies and activists across Europe make sense of terrorist violence, negotiated memories of loss, and counterterrorist responses. By looking at diverse activities such as artistic practice, language and performance that embody both the visible and the invisible experiences of people affected by violence, the conference will bring together contributions from scholars and artists from various disciplines and different career stages. In readdressing the notions of remembrance and imagination this conference would like to explore ideas related but not limited to:

• Collective forms of remembering and forgetting of terrorist violence – What kind of memory discourses and material praxes to terrorist violence have emerged among affected communities and nation states? How do people across Europe come to terms with the traumatic memories of terrorist attacks?

• Living with (counter-)terrorism – To what extent do terrorist events shape people’s everyday experiences of the urban space? How do policies and material infrastructures impact life, work, and travel in the aftermath of terrorist attacks?

• Imagining different futures – By problematising the narrow concept of imagination and creativity underpinning counter-terrorist responses what alternative forms of imagination and performance exist and/or could be utilised in the face of the ubiquitous terrorist threat?

Confirmed keynote speakers are:
– Em. Prof. Dr. Joseba Zulaika – University of Nevada, (USA)
– Em. Prof. Dr. Nina Lykke – Linköping University, (Sweden)
– Dr. Gérôme Truc – French National Centre for Scientific Research, (France)

The conference will feature artistic contributions from Faisal Hussain (Creative Producer and Artist) and Alejandro Acín (Photographer and Designer).

We invite abstracts for conference papers, as well as alternative formats of participation, encouraging artists, performers, and researchers from across different disciplines to apply. Please submit your abstract or description of your proposed contribution of no more than 400 words along with a brief biographical note of no more than 100 words and your contact details to urbterr.conference2022@gmail.com by 31 May 2022. Please note: this call for submissions is now closed.

As an interdisciplinary project funded by the European Research Council, we particularly encourage postgraduates and early career researchers to apply. Financial support for some of the costs of travel and/or accommodation will be available.

Do not hesitate to get in touch by sending a message to the email address below if you have any queries about accessibility or any other aspects related to this in-person event.

Email: urbterr.conference2022@gmail.com