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Call for Papers – TAELS 7th Int. Conference

    The Tunisian Association for English Language Studies (TAELS)
    organizes its 7th International Conference on:

    “Memory and Imagination” 

    March 07-08, 2022 
    Hammamet or Sousse (TBD) – Tunisia


    Memory studies have brought about fundamental knowledge on the importance of memory in a variety of disciplines. With a view to gaining further insights into the configurations of memory across disciplines, reflection is directed towards understanding the mutual relations between memory and imagination while considering the ways in which academic debate, written narratives, history, visual representations, etc. form constellations of memory.

    This conference seeks to address the growing interest in the ways the intersection of memory and imagination appeal to a variety of disciplines and build bridges between them. Whether transitory glimpses or intricate narratives, memories give vent to imagined pasts. Reconstructing one’s relationship to the past may possibly go through the complexity resulting from the human ability to represent and narrate truth(s). We find in literature valuable narrative constructions of the memory, not only relating to the presence of the past but also to imaginations of the future.

    In our fast-growing world, where information is abundant and easily accessible, raising questions about the significance of human memory has become more important than ever. With the technological advances in computer sciences, memory is depicted as a faculty that, like a computer, “stores” and then “generates” information. Psychiatrists would compare human memory to a diary that writes itself (Jean Delay), and would attribute to the mind the mission of stitching together images and scenes rendering complex associations of thoughts and emotions.

    In this regard, memory functions to store autobiographical and historical records which can affect remembrances that shape our identity as Marcel Proust argues in his magnum opus In Search of Lost Time. He stresses that “remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were”. Remembrance, then, could be seen as an idiosyncratic way of summoning up what is absent and gone but in a remodeled way that, in extreme cases, embraces the unreal or the fantastic, proposing entities and events that could not have necessarily existed according to current knowledge and understanding.

    Proust overtly thinks that “The images selected by memory are as arbitrary, as narrow, as elusive as those which the imagination had formed and reality has destroyed. There is no reason why, existing outside ourselves, a real place should conform to the pictures in our memory rather than those in our dreams”.

    In this context, the conference encourages developing, discussing and exchanging ideas about the dialectics of memory and imagination in relation to language. The act of remembrance validates who we are through the power of language or the different modes of communication we devise to connect with the outside. In addition, it seems interesting to examine the importance of language in the construction of memory narratives. Virginia Woolf was among those who gave credit to language in creating memories. In her essay “A Sketch of the Past”, she insists that writing is the instrument of mnemonic construction and acknowledges that remembrance is a pure act of imagination.

    With a view to highlighting the multi-disciplinary queries energizing scholars and researchers alike, the conference invites reflection on the correspondences between memory and cultural studies. With the rise of migration and exile accompanying wars, disasters and the ends of empires, representation of the present rests primordially on a rich tapestry of people searching for roots and lost homes. Thus, their memories, to put it within the Proustian context, are likened to a “pharmacy…in which our groping hand may come to rest now on a sedative drug, now on a dangerous poison”. Works about memories of dispossession and trauma could be read against the backdrop of history and memory. Indeed, the stakes are huge when we refer to the interplay between historical, national and personal boundaries that delineate the concept of memory.

    In language studies, memory received considerable attention in cognitive linguistics and first and second language acquisition (SLA). Researchers highlighted the difference between short and long-term memory in fostering language retention and supporting effective language teaching. Scholars also focused on memory in sociolinguistics and the role of heritage languages in preserving indigenous cultures and the local specificities of speech communities. In translation, memory has always been at the core of research on real-time transfer activities, especially the three modes of simultaneous, consecutive, and liaison interpreting. In more recent traditions, the interest in memory among linguists created new academic ramifications, including neurolinguistics, automatic language processing, and other areas focusing on the interplay between language and memory.  

    It is within this frame that we will be happy to welcome individual and panel proposals related, but not limited, to the following thematic strands:

    • The relationship between imagination and memory 
    • Perception and memory
    • Memory and imagination
    • Memory and remembering
    • Memory and the reconstruction of the past
    • Lost memory and amnesia
    • Forgotten history/ forgotten texts/ forgotten languages
    • Stolen memory: exclusion/ manipulation/ propaganda
    • Abandoned memory: indifference/ betrayal
    • Historiography and fantasizing
    • Memory and fiction
    • Collective memory
    • Creating memory
    • Historiographies
    • Speculative Fiction
    • Literature, trauma, and memory
    • Memory construction and new technologies
    • Memory in language studies
    • Memory in teaching pedagogy
    • Memory in interpreting and translation
    • Memory and representations of war
    • Diaspora and memory
    • Reconstructions and narration
    • National mythologies
    • Confabulation

    The conference is intended as an interdisciplinary event. Hence, we invite presentations from different academic disciplines such as history, sociology, philosophy, psychology, literary studies, linguistics and others. Different forms of presentations are encouraged, including case studies, theoretical investigations, problem-oriented arguments, and comparative analyses.


    We welcome individual abstracts for 20-minute presentations and complete panel proposals of three or four papers treating a similar theme or topic. Priority will be given to panel proposals.

    Participants are kindly invited to submit their proposals via one of these links:

    Link 1 (individual submissions):

    Link 2 (panel submissions):

    The deadline for abstract submission is January 09, 2022. Acceptance/rejection decisions will be sent by January 16, 2022.

    TAELS editorial board will select a number of papers that will be published after peer-reviewing in a collective volume on the proceedings of the conference.


    Presenters of accepted papers will be required to deposit a registration fee of 300 TND (300 Euros for international participants) before January 29, 2022.

    The registration fees will cover:

    • A full board-stay at the conference venue (one night for Tunisian participants – two nights for international participants).
    • Two coffee breaks;
    • Conference materials;
    • Certificate of participation or attendance;
    • Access to all conference sessions and workshops;
    • Submission of the paper to peer-reviewing;
    • Two hard copies of the conference proceedings after publication.

    For attendance only, the registration fees will be as follows:

    • One-day pass: 100 TND (100 Euros for international participants).
    • Two-day pass: 150 TND (150 Euros for international participants)
    • Two-day pass + accommodation: 250 TND (250 Euros for international participants.

    For advice and more details about transportation and accommodation, please send your requests to