The Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures is organizing its eighteenth annual conference at James Madison University with the collaboration of the Departments of English, History, Justice Studies, Military Science, Philosophy and Religion, Political Science, and Sociology and Anthropology; the Schools of Music and Art and Art History; and with the support of the College of Arts and Letters.

The 20th century – an epoch of genocides – will be forever associated with feelings of guilt and shame.  And it is not only the case of perpetrators.  Many are still ashamed of their ancestors and of the members of their nations, societies or families. Those who suffered from crime often experience survivor’s guilt.  Often both the victims and executioners make efforts to forget past events and repress the uncomfortable emotions.   Others forget the facts involuntarily. Yet others cultivate false memories of what never occurred.  Politicians impose their own narratives of history, with the hope of re-shaping the common convictions and achieving their short-sighted goals.  On the other hand, modern societies seem to exist in a sphere of complete shamelessness. More and more people exhibit the hallmarks of narcissistic personality. They do not care about protecting their privacy. On the contrary, they are proud of exposing as much as possible from their intimate life.

These and other factors led us to focus on the themes of memory, guilt and shame – in the present-day world as well as in the past. We want to describe these phenomena in their multi-various aspects: psychological, social, historical, cultural, philosophical, religious, political among others.  We also want to bring attention to how these issues appear in artistic practices: literature, film, theatre or visual arts.

We are inviting faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, artists, independent scholars and researchers representing various academic disciplines: anthropology, history, foreign languages, psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, sociology, politics, philosophy, literary studies, music studies, theatre studies, film studies, memory studies, consciousness studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, and the sciences to submit abstracts/proposals and convene panel discussions and/or workshops.  We also encourage participants to organize and chair sessions.

A list of potential topics can be found here.

Presenters from different institutions, both nationally and internationally, will have the option to present via Zoom. 

Guidelines for Submitting Abstracts/Proposals

  1. Submit abstracts of about 300 words.

  2. Each abstract should include: title, author’s name, affiliation, address, telephone number and e-mail address. Proposals with multiple authorships should indicate the person to be contacted.
  3. The deadline for submission of abstracts/proposals is March 26, 2022.

  4. Send abstracts/proposals to: Dr. Giuliana Fazzion, Conference Program Director, Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Tel: (540) 568-6128; Fax: (540) 568-6904; E-mail:

  5. Proceedings: Abstract or full text of your paper(s) presented at the conference may also be published in the Proceedings. Upon receiving acceptance of your paper, please send a copy of your abstract or full paper to the Proceedings Editor, Dr. Stephany Plecker, Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, by no later than March 25, 2022. E-mail:

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