The University of Western Australia
Volume 23.2 of Limina is a themed edition, featuring articles presented at our 12th annual conference ‘Memory: Myth and Modernity’, held on the 27–28 July, 2017. These articles showcase the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, with interpretations of memory through the lenses of history, literature, trauma theory, forensic archaeology, and creative writing.
Volume 23.2 begins with Charlotte Mackay’s ‘(Post)colonial Trauma, Memory and History in Léonora Miano’s Countours of the Coming Day [Countours du jour qui vient]’. In her reading of the novels of French Cameroonian author Léonora Miano, Mackay critiques the inadequacy of Euro-American-centric theories to account for the inscription of traumas that are other than singular events; calling instead for a (post)colonial perspective that recognizes trauma in long histories of oppression.
In ‘Innocent Memories: Reading the Museum in Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence’, Sarah Rengel explores literary depictions of museums in novels, museums as novels, and finally novels as museums, through the work of Orhan Pamuk, who curated a physical museum based on his novel The Museum of Innocence – a testament to both the personal nature of memory, and a critique of our ability to accurately represent our histories.
In ‘The Memory of War: The Role of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the Identification and Memorialisation of Missing and Unknown Soldiers from WW1’, Ariane Maggio reviews how archaeological excavation and modern forensic science have helped to identify soldiers from the remains found in two key battle grounds of World War 1 – Fromelle and Beaucamps-Ligny. This identification process is important, Maggio argues, both in memorializing the dead, and as a process of remembering and learning from the past.
The last article of this edition is Laura Kenny’s ‘The Palimpsest Paradox’, in which Kenny creatively layers the academic critique of novels and memories as palimpsests (drawing on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things), with the fading memories of the fictional author of the piece, to create a work of fictocriticism that is in itself palimpsestic.
This edition also features a typically diverse range of book reviews: Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right, reviewed by Adam Szetela; The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry, reviewed by Sanna Peden; and Hannele Harujnen’s Neoliberal Bodies and the Gendered Fat Body, reviewed by Alicia Ettlin.