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Family, Memory, and Identity

May 23, 2018 - May 24, 2018
Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Aarhus

Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University, Buildings 1630-1632
Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B
Aarhus 8000

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The family has long been a central unit of social organisation, understood as key to child development, the production of personal and familial identity, and the transmission of values. It is a unit of political significance, identified as the ‘nursery of the nation’ from at least the medieval period and thus subject to significant analysis and intervention. The family is also implicated in the production of nations, where particular families (not least monarchies) and family stories become national histories – defining the boundaries of who belongs and who does not. Such processes of identity-making require a range of forms of inheritance and memory-making, whether at a personal level in stories told to children or the ways that family becomes embedded in heritage sites and museums to explain our national stories. This symposium explores the relationship between family, memory and identity, asking how family is defined, articulated and transmitted to its members and those beyond; how inheritances, storytelling and processes of memory-making become implicated in these processes; and how various forms of identity are produced through family memory, from the personal to the national. It is particularly interested in the diversity of ways that family has been understood and memorialised over time and to the present, including but not limited to fictive kin, single person families, LGBT families, and friendship-families.

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May 6, 2018, 9:00am CET

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