Call for Papers for Issue 18 (July 2022)

Submission Deadline April 30, 2022

Guest Editor:

Gallous Atabongwoung (University of Pretoria)


Memory, Pandemic and Transculturality

Dealing with the Past and the Pandemic, while Reaching for the Future in an Intercultural Context


How do we represent the past to ourselves and to others?  Which of our many pasts do we represent, and when, where, and why do we change those representations?  How do those representations shape our actions, identities, and understandings? In what ways are we ethically and politically obligated to remember, and what are the consequences of meeting, or failing to meet, these obligations? Moreover, questions surrounding remembering are being investigated around the world, but there is too little interaction (and thus, often a lack of understanding) between various places. This is despite the efforts of selected individual scholars’ explicit mission to move beyond the Euro/Anglo centrism that has defined the early development of memory studies. Issue 18 therefore aims to provide a platform for academic researchers who are interested in contributing to this special issue. The issue encourages researchers to avoid binary conceptualizations of traumatic versus happy memories and rather discuss a broader ‘emotional range and vocabulary’, how these emotions are remembered, forgotten or silenced. This may include exploring how experiences of suffering and pain relate to empowering memories of resistance; nostalgia for old times, values and social relations; or restorative memories of healing, recovering agency and constructive processes. Memory-distortion, ‘false memory’ and forgetting, both at the personal and collective level, are equally important subjects of research. Heightened by the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an indelible impact on the world’s sociopolitical systems, transforming what was initially assumed as a public health crisis into a mechanism generating new architectures of social control, of North/South inequalities, of the politics of truth, and forms of reconfiguration of global capitalism. The COVID-19 pandemic confirms the primacy of life and biopolitics as structuring metanarratives of Western societies, transforming bodies, movements, and molecularities into targets of a multiplicity of socio-political investments which include lockdowns, vaccines, PCR tests, and digital certifications. The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to the emergence of new abyssal lines: geopolitical (with glaring inequalities with respect to access to vaccines), social (the vaccinated/unvaccinated; the infected and those testing negative), and in the media (in which the attempt towards normalization via “Fact Checkers” is undergoing increasing polarization).

We therefore invite contributions from established researchers and postgraduate students in a wide range of disciplines from anthropology, cultural studies, diaspora studies, geography, health, history, mobility studies, political science, psychology, religion, sociology and other relevant fields. Practitioners in museums, memorial institutions, archives, the arts and performance fields, as well as researchers working for NGOs and government organizations are also welcome to contribute insights from their field of expertise. It is important to emphasize that we seek contributions not only on collective, cultural or social memory, but also personal, episodic and autobiographical remembrance and forgetting.

interface Journal of European Languages and Literatures  is inviting original unpublished papers written in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, or Italian for interface Issue 18, to be published in July 2022. Topics may include (but are not limited to):


  • the role of political memory in international relations and local, national and transnational politics
  • memory in law and transitional justice processes
  • multidirectional travel of memories between continents
  • memory in the age of digital media and networked communication technology
  • memory in the context of religion and spirituality
  • the role of memory in health and sickness (including HIV/Aids, Ebola, etc.)
  • commemoration of persons, events and places in societies
  • how local memories are affected by global narratives and discourses
  • memory in the context of travel, mobility, migration and displacement
  • gendered memories and memories of gender relations
  • testing of established concepts in memory studies (e.g., Hirsch’s notion of post memory) in case studies
  • memory, inequality and poverty
  • methodologies of memory studies in a particular geocultural (e.g. African, Asian, etc.) context and in relation to oral history studies
  • the COVID-19 pandemic and biopolitics;
  • the pandemic, global capitalism, social inequalities, North/South inequalities;
  • the health crisis, democracy and human rights;
  • the pandemic, (dis)information and the fragmentation of the public space;
  • the COVID-19 pandemic and social theory;
  • the health crisis and the role of science and technology;
  • literary and artistic representations of the pandemic;
  • the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of past pandemics;
  • COVID-19 and the ethics of care-giving

interface Journal of European Languages and Literatures also invites papers not related to the Special Topic which will be published in a dedicated General Topic Section.

Papers should be submitted online at no later than April 30, 2022.

All potential authors should consult our website for Author Guidelines