Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies

2017 Conference

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Limina 12th Annual Conference

Memory: Myth and Modernity


Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies is a peer-reviewed academic journal published at the University of Western Australia since 1995. The 12th Annual Limina Conference will be held on 27 and 28 July 2017 at The University of Western Australia. 

Key Events

The conference commences at noon on Thursday 27 July 2017 at St Catherine's College, UWA.

Prof. Susan Broomhall will deliver the keynote address, and a public lecture will be held in the evening given by Estelle Blackburn. Over 30 speakers from different disciplines will present their work on the theme of 'Memory: Myth and Modernity'.

The conference poster is available to download below.

Keynote Address

Prof. Susan Broomhall is an historian of early modern Europe whose research explores gender, emotions, material culture, cultural contact and the heritage of early modern Europe. She was a Foundation Chief Investigator  for the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. In 2014, she became an Honorary Chief Investigator, having taken up an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship within the Centre, to  complete a research project studying emotions, power and the correspondence of Catherine de Medici.

Susan Broomhall's lecture is entitled 'Emotions and Memory: Catherine de Medici and the Myth of Modernity.'

Abstract: This paper explores the role of emotions in the creation of memory and commemoration on the one hand, and the significance of memory in remembering past emotional experiences on the other. Psychologists, anthropologists, historians, literary and heritage scholars among many others all grapple to understand the powerful nexus between emotions and memory in processes that inform both individual and collective experiences and understandings of self and identity. Drawing upon a range of sources, from contemporary eyewitness accounts by courtiers, ambassadors and propagandists, to nineteenth-  and twentieth-century interpretive sites, this paper asks what is at stake for modern communities and individuals in how we have remembered this sixteenth-century French queen and regent, Catherine de Medici, in the past and in the twenty-first century. It investigates how strong emotions — from feelings of attachment and intimacy, to fear and hatred — have shaped the historical memory of this individual and the past events to which her identity is attached. It contends that emotions shape interpretive practices, including the range of sources — textual, visual and material — that are available for analysis,  continue to assert control over powerful women even in their afterlives and that the interaction of emotions and memory fashioning Catherine’s fate as a powerful political protagonist, may form part of a broader emotional, epistemological practice that determines our engagement with women of the past.

Public Lecture

(The public lecture is free, but please RSVP online here.)

Estelle Blackburn is a writer whose determined sleuthing uncovered the truth about Perth’s most notorious serial killer, Eric Edgar Cooke. Her investigative journalism, authorship of Broken Lives and citizen advocacy led to the exoneration of convicted killers John Button and Darryl Beamish, 40 years after they were wrongfully convicted of Cooke murders. Estelle was a journalist for The West Australian then the ABC, before becoming a press secretary to several WA Ministers and a Premier. The winner of many awards including an OAM, WA Citizen of the Year (Arts and Entertainment), WA Woman of the Year, Premier’s Award for non-fiction, and journalism’s top honour, a Walkley Award for the most outstanding contribution to the profession, she is also an inductee into the WA Womens Hall of Fame. Now working in Canberra, Estelle still spends her spare time crusading against wrongful conviction. 

Estelle Blackburn's lecture is entitled 'Challenging Justice – Changing Lives.'

Abstract: It is generally agreed that 1% of the prison population are innocent inmates who are the victims of injustice. This presentation will detail two wrongful convictions in 1961 and 1963 and how a Perth journalist with no legal training could succeed in gaining the innocent men’s exonerations 40 years later, winning against the odds after they had lost seven combined appeals in the 60s.

When John Button’s manslaughter conviction was quashed by the WA Court of Criminal Appeal in 2002, and Darryl Beamish’s wilful murder conviction was quashed in 2005, they were the longest standing convictions to be overturned in Australia.

As well as the exonerations, the work corrected Perth’s history. Eric Edgar Cooke, the perpetrator of the two murders and the last person executed in WA, had been remembered for killing six people and attempting to kill two more in 1963. Cooke is now recognised for eight murders and 14 attempted murders over a five-year period from 1958.

The work also gave a voice to 12 of Cooke’s previously unknown attempted murder victims, gave hope to innocent prisoners and raised public awareness of wrongful conviction and its causes: police misconduct including blinkered investigation, over-zealous prosecutors, weak legal representation for the uneducated and marginalised, false confessions, fabricated evidence by witnesses with incentives, faults in forensics, eyewitness misidentification and fallible memory. While not the cause in the Button and Beamish cases, the fallibility of eyewitness memory has been found to be the greatest contributor to wrongful conviction – 72% of eyewitness identifications being wrong in the US Innocence Project’s successful exoneration cases.

Program and Schedule

Please find the conference program and abstract booklet in the PDF file below.

Fees and Registration (closed)

Registration is now open and early registration is encouraged.

Early Bird Rate: $40.

Regular Rate: $45

The Limina Conference fee includes:

  • Attendance to both days of the conference
  • Conference welcome pack and program booklet
  • Lunch (Friday)
  • Refreshments during breaks (Thursday and Friday) 

You can register online here.  

 Call for Papers (closed)

Limina's annual conference aims to foster a supportive environment in which early career researchers and postgraduates can present their latest research findings. We are pleased to invite abstracts for panel sessions and individual papers on the 2017 conference theme of 'Memory: Myth and Modernity'.

Memory provides us with a framework for reading the past, as well as for shaping our present identities and future aspirations. If, as recent scholarship has attested, these memories can be influenced variously by selective reporting of the media, the digital revolution, physical and mental trauma, and our cognitive biases, then it is incumbent on us to analyse how and what we remember. The 12th annual Limina conference seeks to explore the importance of memory with respect to such issues.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Individual and collective identity
  • National and cultural memory
  • Narrative and autobiography
  • History, places and events
  • Nostalgia and the imagination
  • Emotions and memory
  • Trauma, injury and war
  • Ethics of memory
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Migration and displacement
  • Social, psychological and scientific approaches to memory.

Submission Guidelines

Please send:

  •     A title
  •     An abstract (maximum 200 words)
  •     A short biography (maximum 50 words)

to [email protected] with 'Memory 2017' in the subject line. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2017.

Important Dates

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31 March 2017.
Responses will be sent out by 14 April 2017.
The conference will be held on Thursday 27 July and Friday 28 July 2017.
There will be a free public lecture on Thursday 27 July 2017.

Presentation Guidelines

Each presenter will have twenty minutes in which to present their paper followed immediately by ten minutes discussion time.

Opportunity for Publication

Limina publishes a themed volume each year which is linked to the annual conference theme. Conference presenters are invited to submit an article for publication in the themed edition of our journal. Article length is 5,000 to 7,000 words. Please see the journal's submission guidelines for more details and further information on publication opportunities.

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Last updated:
Friday, 18 August, 2017 11:55 AM