Important Announcement

Conference book project

We invite conference participants to allow us to submit their abstracts as part of planning for a book volume with working title: Breaking Cycles of Repetition: A Global Dialogue on Historical Trauma and Memory. The collection of papers from the conference will present diverse perspectives for analysing intergenerational legacies of repetition in the aftermath of historical traumas across the globe. More importantly, the volume will present interdisciplinary scholarly work exploring new avenues of inquiry in the following areas:

  • individual and collective memory
  • contemporary cultures of political memory
  • diverse practices employed across cultures (such as truth commissions, dialogue practices, literature, theatre and the visual arts) to break intergenerational cycles of repetition.

After the conference, we will invite submission of final papers for possible inclusion in the volume.

We hope this volume will follow the success of the book published after our first conference, Memory Narrative and Forgiveness: Perspectives on Unfinished Journeys of the Past.

Call for Papers

This conference is the third in a series of successful conferences that were held at the University of Cape Town in December 2006 and December 2009. The conference continues the excellent tradition of critical and in-depth engagement with topics chosen for their relevance to traumatic memory, strategies of breaking the cycles of intergenerational trauma in societies affected by historical trauma. The unique feature of our conferences has been the focus on research by scholars and practitioners who have been exploring new avenues of inquiry in work dealing with past atrocities as well as with healing the intergenerational effects of these atrocities. The conferences have also offered opportunity for delegates to listen to and to engage with victims and survivors who have been at the epicenter of mass traumatic experiences. Groups of survivors who have participated in the signature Sigrid Rausing Round Table discussions of the conference have included survivor groups from the following historical events: the Rwandan genocide, residential schools in Australia, apartheid atrocities and survivors of the outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa, and second and third generation descendants of Holocaust survivors.

For the conference this year, we invite proposals focusing on the themes of the conference, which include, but are not limited to the following:

  • empathy and reconciliation in processes of social transformation
  • fostering dialogue across divides
  • the social psyche – application of psychoanalytic concepts to questions of social transformation
  • intergenerational trauma
  • early attachment relationships across the racial divide as foundation for empathy
  • revenge and forgiveness
  • apology and forgiveness
  • bystander shame and guilt in the aftermath of genocide gross human rights violations
  • mourning and working through trauma; mourning and working through guilt and shame
  • understanding human empathy through the lens of social neuroscience
  • peace education and discourses of empathy and reconciliation
  • transformative pedagogy for social justice
  • cultural trauma, new theoretical insights on collective trauma
  • women survivors of genocide and wars – new avenues of inquiry
  • creative approaches to transformation and engaging the Other – literature, visual arts and theatre
  • collective trauma narratives – theoretical and methodological issues

Submission of Abstracts Closed.

Questions?: Please email Naleli Morejeli at