Work was due to start in earnest this spring and summer on the Memories from the Margins
project, funded by the British Academy ( This project
examines how bottom-up practices are used to deal with heritage as a way to heal trauma,
demand justice and build sustainable peace. In particular the team plans to focus on
informal archives and oral history from Lebanon’s Civil War (1975-1990) and Syria’s ongoing
conflict (2011-present). These specific plans and the field trips that this research
necessitates have been put on hold by the current Covid-19 pandemic but the memory work
is still ongoing. In many ways, the current pandemic highlights the many violences of
everyday life – with reports of rises in domestic violence across the world – but also the
bleak material and structural conditions left by conflict in Lebanon and Syria – displaced
people, camps - which make controlling any virus seem like an impossible task. Indeed, with
the current uncertainty about making any plans for the future, a focus on past memories,
from nostalgic to traumatic, seems necessary to retain a semblance of balance in a
precarious world.
As a result, we would like to start work on the Memories from the Margins project in a
different way by putting together a special issue for the Journal of the British Academy
which addresses the aims of our project with its focus on informal memories of violence and
opens it up to case studies other than Lebanon and Syria. We would like to invite
expressions of interest for writing articles of 4000-6000 words which explore the following
- How bottom-up approaches to memorialization can be inclusive, address citizens’
lack of agency and contribute to sustainable peace in contexts marked by
obstruction from formal institutions;
- The efficacy of personal archives in challenging amnesia or hegemonic narratives of
conflict and advancing demands for justice;
- The sensory, aesthetic dimensions of the heritage produced by conflict;
- The link between the ways in which heritage of conflict is dealt with and the
emergence of new violence;
- The transfer of unconventional practices and methods from one context to another.
We are particularly keen on expressions of interest from outside the UK. If you are
interested, please contact Dr Daniele Rugo ( and Prof Nina
Parish ( with a short paragraph detailing the main arguments of your
article by the end of June.

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