The Seventeenth International Conference of the Australian Early Medieval Association

AEMA17 – Memory and Forgetting

30 September–1 October 2022 | Australian Catholic University, Canberra and throughout the world

This conference comprises of papers on the theme of memory and forgetting.

Memory is malleable. It is shaped by selection, by mediation, by transmission, by ideologies, by societies and, above all, by forgetting. In the words of Ann Rigney,

‘like water transported in a leaky bucket which slowly runs dry, [memories] are continuously being lost along the way’.

And yet, the archive contains a multiplicity of memories that have survived their journeys, that have been remade in their transmission, and continue to be remade as historians select those memories that speak to particular perspectives or narratives. What can we say about this selective approach to the archive? An approach that often masquerades as ʹmemoryʹ ‐ in terms of presenting a distinct narrative ‐ and ʹforgettingʹ ‐ in terms of omission, whether deliberate or through ignorance or inattention. This conference examines the process of how early medieval societies created their pasts and, in turn, how those pasts have continued to be created in subsequent centuries.