December 8, 2014, by Abadia Rolim

Vital Theory 2014: The Meanings of Memory

“Vital Theory”, the annual symposium organised by the postgraduates at the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Critical Theory, is being held off-campus for the first time this year. The fourth ever “Vital Theory” will be held at the Nottingham Contemporary, an inviting venue which is perfect for this year’s theme: “The Meanings of Memory”. This year we will be looking into the social, political, ethical and material aspects involved in remembering and forgetting.

“Vital Theory” is an innovative and informal space in which theoretical questions are scrutinised through discussions organised into four different formats. In the first part of the symposium we will have short keynotes by Tracey Potts and Andrew Goffey, followed by position papers focusing on this year’s topic. This approach is aimed at creating a space for debate and reflection, rather than presentations of completed research. Unlike traditional symposia, most of the time is allocated to discussion between attendees.

After the oral papers, there is time allotted for a hands-on experience – the Objects of Memory Workshop. Each participant is invited to bring along an object one thinks is connected to memory. The space is set in a round circle in which the objects trigger a critical discussion about the conceptualization of memory, its materiality, and its consequences.

The third and final part of the symposium, the ‘Anti-market’ Stalls, creates a space for the postgraduate students to briefly discuss particular theorists that are relevant to their research or that they like/dislike. Again, it will be a space for debate and we are also keen to hear from other people who use critical theory in their everyday practice (scholarly or not).

The final part of the symposium will be held at The Das Kino where the Theory Secret Santa will take place. For this part, participants should bring a paper, article or a chapter of a theorist/research/writer/poet to exchange with the other conference attendees.

The innovative character of “Vital Theory” relies on openness to spontaneous participation during the discussions, peer-to-peer sharing and the willingness to extend the understanding of theory outside the academy.

What: “Vital Theory: The Meanings of Memory”
Where: Nottingham Contemporary / Das Kino
What time: 9:30am to 4:30pm/ 4:30pm onwards
What to bring: An object of memory and a photocopy of a paper/article/chapter you want to exchange

Please note that although this event is free you need to register here, as places are limited. Lunch will be provided.

For further questions please contact Gianlluca Simi or David Eckersley.


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