Forging and Forgetting: The (Re)writing of History, Community and Memory

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Date / time
04/06/2021 - 06/06/2021, All day

After last year’s symposium was cancelled, the EMREM committee are very pleased to announce that our annual EMREM Symposium is back and better than ever!

This year we invite you to join us as we celebrate EMREM’s 10th annual symposium with a fantastic, interdisciplinary, two-day virtual symposium hosted by the University of Birmingham (if demand is sufficient, the conference may be extended to a third day.) This year’s theme is ‘Forging and Forgetting: the (re)writing of history, community and memory’.

Humans have long kept records of events; be they written accounts or oral histories, song and story, deeds and people immortalised in artworks, memorials, and buildings. As the 7th June toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol and Confederate memorials throughout the USA in the wake of the BLM movement shows, and as the deliberate destruction of cultural monuments and buildings by various regimes throughout history demonstrate, memory and the markers of it are not static. Similarly, buildings and the landscape more generally, change in use and shape, are remodelled, rebuilt, restored, or destroyed, changing in purpose and importance over time.

We invite papers from PGs and ECRs working on the Medieval or Early Modern periods to give papers of 20 minutes relating to the conference theme. Topics could include, but not limited to, the following:·
-Historical approaches and methodologies
– Popular history and historical fiction
– Constructing memories
– Change and consequences
– Identity and communities
– Triumphs and losses
– (Un)reliable Narrators
– Reformations and schisms
– Renaissances
– Life and death
– Forgotten and neglected histories
– Reinterpreting people, events, and artefacts
– Revising the past
– The material and the imagined
– Historiography
– Destruction and restoration
– The changing landscape
– Memory and remembering

Please note that papers covering both work on emerging techniques and areas of study, and those which are more traditional or well-travelled, are encouraged, and panels which contrast different methods and approaches are welcomed.

Interested in giving a paper? Papers must be delivered in English, not exceeding 20 minutes in length. Panels of three speakers should adhere to that limit but may take a form other than three individual papers; please ensure this is clear on your proposal if you would like to adopt an alternative approach. Please send abstracts (max. 300 words) and a short biography (max. 100 words) to the EMREM committee ( by 1 April 2021. If any accommodations will be needed (for example if because of time zones you need an early or late session based on UK time) please indicate this in your submission.

NB. This conference will be held online via Zoom. Please get in touch if you need any particular arrangements to be made, or support provided, if you are interested in attending.