Conveners: Marianne Hirsch, Jean Howard, and Diana Taylor


Bringing together artists, writers, theater practitioners, museologists, social activists, and scholars of memory and memorialization, “Women Mobilizing Memory” focuses on the political stakes and consequences of witnessing and testimony as responses to socially imposed vulnerabilities and historical trauma. The working group will probe how individual and collective testimony and performance can establish new forms of cultural memory and facilitate social repair. Using gender as an analytic lens, this project explicitly explores women's acts of witness and the gendered forms and consequences of political repression and persecution. It asks what strategies of memorialization and re-imagining are most effective in calling attention to past and present wrongs and in creating possibilities of redress through protest and other forms of action and resistance.


Our working group will meet during 5 two-hour sessions will consider a number of questions related to the topic within the frame of the Encuentro theme “Manifestations.” We will spend each of the sessions on a particular topic arising from the participants’ interests. Brief background readings for each session and for the group as a whole will be online. Sessions will be introduced by several brief (5 minute) position papers or art/activist projects by work group members that will be followed by discussion.


Applications should include a statement of your past and present projects that relate to the theme of “Women Mobilizing Memory” as well as a brief description of a position paper you might like to present. Materials should be uploaded via the online application form before October 9th, 2013.

Convener Biographies:

Jean E. Howard is George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University where she teaches early modern literature, Shakespeare, feminist studies, and theater history. Howard has authored over fifty essays; and her books include Shakespeare’s Art of Orchestration: Stage Technique and Audience Response (1984); The Stage and Social Struggle in Early Modern England (1994); Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (1997), co-written with Phyllis Rackin; Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 (2007), which won the Barnard Hewitt Prize for the outstanding work of theater history in 2008, and Marx and Shakespeare in the Great Shakespeareans series (2012), co-written with Crystal Bartolovich. In addition, Professor Howard is one of the co-editors of The Norton Shakespeare, the third edition of which is now in preparation, and general editor of the Bedford Contextual Editions of Shakespeare. She has edited seven collections of essays and has been the recipient of Guggenheim, ACLS, NEH, and Huntington, Folger, and Newberry Library Fellowships. She has just completed a contextual edition of As You Like It and is turning the Schoff Lectures, which she delivered at Columbia, into a new book, Staging History, Writing the Nation that considers the work of contemporary playwrights Tony Kushner and Caryl Churchill alongside Shakespeare’s history plays. She is planning a book on early modern tragedy.

Diana Taylor is University Professor at NYU, where she teaches in the departments of Performance Studies and Spanish. She is the author of Theatre of Crisis: Drama and Politics in Latin America (1991), which won the Best Book Award given by New England Council on Latin American Studies and Honorable Mention in the Joe E. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama; of Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina's 'Dirty War' (Duke U.P., 1997); and The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (Duke U.P., 2003), which won the ATHE Research Award in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy and the Modern Language Association Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for the best book in Latin American and Spanish Literatures and Culture (2004). She is editor of Stages of Conflict: A Critical Anthology in Latin American Theatre and Performance (2008, Michigan U. P.) and co-editor of Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform (2004, Duke U.P.), Defiant Acts/Actos Desafiantes: Four Plays by Diana Raznovich (Bucknell U. P., 2002), Negotiating Performance in Latin/o America: Gender, Sexuality and Theatricality (1994, Duke U.P.), and The Politics of Motherhood: Activists from Left to Right (University Press of New England, 1997). Her articles on Latin American and Latino performance have appeared in The Drama Review, Theatre Journal, Performing Arts Journal, Latin American Theatre Review, Estreno, Gestos, Signs, MLQ and other scholarly journals. She has also been invited to participate in discussions on the role of new technologies in the arts and humanities in important conferences and commissions in the Americas (i.e. ACLS Commission on Cyberinfrastructure). Diana Taylor is Founding Director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, funded by the Ford, Luce, and Rockefeller Foundations.

Marianne Hirsch is the William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University as well as Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality. She is the 2013 President of the Modern Language Association of America. Most recently, she is the author of The Generation of Postmemory: Visual Cultures After the Holocaust and co-author, with Leo Spitzer, of Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish. Her other publications include Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, and Postmemory, The Mother/Daughter Plot, and the (co-) edited e-misférica 9.1 and 2 “On The Subject of Archives,” Rites of Return: Diaspora Poetics and the Politics of Memory, The Familial Gaze, and Conflicts in Feminism.

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