Published: 17th June 2021
IIT Madras launches national network for Memory Studies, aims to study the Indian landscape of memory studies
INMS will coordinate complex engagements with memory from different institutes including cultural studies centres as well as neuroscience laboratories and industry research on AI and related field
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras launched the Indian Network for Memory Studies (INMS), the first formal national network in the field of Memory Studies in India and Asia, which has been formed under the aegis of the international Memory Studies Association (MSA), Amsterdam. The network was inaugurated virtually on June 16 with 600 participants from India, Iraq, Finland, France, Germany, Mauritius, Sweden, United Kingdom and USA.
Founded by Dr Avishek Parui and Dr Merin Simi Raj, Assistant Professors (English), Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, the INMS will coordinate complex engagements with memory from different institutes including cultural studies centres as well as neuroscience laboratories and industry research on AI and related fields. Dr Parui is also a nominated member of the Advisory Board of the International Memory Studies Association.
Addressing the inaugural event, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “This network has already built a commendable critical mass which reflects its relevance and achieve success in this case will be to get the activities going, establish a lot of collaborations, conferences, workshops and form a community of people working in this field. For India, memory studies can be very important, for a lot of historical developments are captured only in memories and not on documentation.”
Further, he added, “The fact that there are so many participants from India too has shown that this network has not come a day too soon. There is enough work going on in India to warrant the creation of such a Network. There is a good base for creating this network in India and it can plug into the huge global network.”
Currently, Dr Avishek Parui and Dr Merin Simi Raj's vision for INMS includes offering an India-centric model of memory studies departing from the established Eurocentric models in theory and practice, producing and promoting an innovative interdisciplinary engagement with the complex cognitive, cultural, and machinic modes of memory, examining the processes of encoding that simultaneously inform acts of remembrance and re-construction in private as well as shared orders and how such processes may be recorded as well as represented by a range of fields such as fiction, history, media, urban geography, and technology.
They also aim to produce exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and special journal issues on a range of themes in Memory Studies, in collaboration with partners from academia and industry along with academically accentuating as well as promoting the rich research on imperialism, partition, and post-colonial identities through the interdisciplinary lenses of memory studies. Re-creating Indian and South-Asian pre-colonial, colonial, and postcolonial events and identities using the model of memory as reconstruction, foregrounding the textuality and the technology informing processes of remembering.