The Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), organized the “Memory, Cognition, Literature Workshop” in collaboration with Centre for Memory Studies, IIT Madras, Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) IIT Madras, and Indian Network for Memory Studies (INMS), from 9 to 12 November, 2021on Zoom. The interdisciplinary workshop aimed to examine the entanglements of memory, cognition, and literature in their respective representational, affective, and social-discursive dimensions.
The workshop was coordinated by Dr. Avishek Parui and Dr. Merin Simi Raj, Centre for Memory Studies, IIT Madras, and Professor Simi Malhotra, HoD, Department of English, JMI. The workshop was enthusiastically attended by a large number of scholars, students, and faculty from all over the world and across various time zones.The workshop was inaugurated on 9th November, 2021, at 5:30 PM IST by Prof. Jyotirmaya Tripathy, HoD, HSS, IITM who talked about the collaborative workshop and its importance for contemporary times.
This was followed by a welcome address by the faculty coordinators, Dr. Avishek Parui, Dr. Merin Simi Raj and Professor Simi Malhotra. The inauguration was brought to a close with introductory discussions by the keynote speakers: Prof. Astrid Erll, Goethe University, Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform, Prof. Fritz Breithaupt, Indiana University Bloomington, Prof. Alexander Easton, Durham University, Prof. Simon James, Durham University, Dr. Vishnu Sreekumar, IIIT Hyderabad, and Thirukumaran Saravanan, XR Labs.
Over the course of the next three days, the workshop included four Researchers’ Roundtable sessions with Dr. Avishek Parui, Dr. Merin Simi Raj and Prof. Simi Malhotra, as well as keynote sessions by Dr. Avishek Parui on “What is Memory Studies?”,Dr. Merin Simi Raj on “Memory Studies, Historiography, and Digital Humanities”, Prof. Fritz Breithaupt on “How Emotions in Narratives are Remembered”, Dr. Vishnu Sreekumar on “Understanding the Role of Context in Memory: A Multiscale Approach”, Prof. Simon James on “Dickens, Autobiographical Memory and Mental Time Travel”, Prof. Alexander Easton on “Memory for Events across Animal, Children, and Adults”, Thirukumaran Saravanan on “ Heightening the Trip Down History with Extended Reality Experiences” and Prof. Astrid Erll, on “Why Memory Studies Needs the Cognitive Sciences: Beyond ‘Two Cultures’”.
All sessions were well received and contained highly interactive QA discussions.The workshop concluded with remarks by the faculty coordinator and a Vote of Thanks. It was attended by 120 participants from India and all over the world, including the USA, Germany and Croatia.