The ECREA Section for the Philosophy of Communication will host its second Landmarks conference, from 9-11 December 2009, at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. Landmarks is the name of our bi-annual conference exploring current pathways of research and scholarship in the philosophy of communication. We aim to provide a platform for interdisciplinary discussion and engagement, spanning philosophy and communication studies broadly understood, and creating opportunities for established as well young scholars and researchers to present their work and their ideas.

9-11 December 2009, IGRS, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Programme (update) | Keynote Speakers | Registration | Where to Stay


greco_tol_smallThe theme for Landmarks 2 is Communication and Memory. At all levels at which communication mediates, expresses or constructs relatedness, the function of memory – and with it forgetting and expecting – is present. Memory shapes presuppositions in communication as much as expectations. The temporality of personal existence and of consciousness is a prerequisite for communicative interaction. But communication processes have a formative influence on the content of individual and collective memories and of cultures and practices of remembrance as well – as indeed, according to some thinkers, on the performative constitution of temporality, seriality or iteration itself. At the same time, communication introduces a factor of change, or otherness – of mediation – in what is remembered or memorised. Thus the dialectics of memory and communication signals the interdependence of the immediate and the mediated. In personal, social, political, ideological and cultural practices and identities this dialectic plays a largely unexplored role.

Again, for hermeneutics, the process of understanding is essentially both mediated by memory, in the form of tradition, and by communication, in the form of dialogue – Mnemosyne is the mother of the muses. Memory, as conceptualised in traditions of thought as diverse as phenomenology and the philosophy of cognition, plays a central role in the understanding of thinking and thought processes.

With this conference we aim to explore the fundamental aspects of the relation between memory and communication, across a range of (philosophical) methods and disciplines. These include phenomenology, philosophy of culture, philosophy of language and cognition, metaphysics, critical theory, rhetoric and aesthetics, the history of philosophy, the new universalism and communication ethics.

Many aspects of the relation between communication and memory have not yet been investigated systematically; this conference aims to provide a map of the landscape. We hope to be able to bring together researchers from a wide range of backgrounds to collectively explore this area.

We seek to explore questions such as the following:

  1. What role does communication play in rituals and cultures of remembrance?
  2. What is the role of memory in the information society?
  3. What is the difference between memory and remembrance and how do mediation practices play a role in this difference?
  4. How can we conceptualise the relation between memory, remembrance and communication in various philosophical traditions and disciplines, including aesthetics and ethics?
  5. What are the outlines of a (critical) theory conceptualising the interplay of memory and communication – including cultural practices, social and political practise, cognitive practices, information management practices etc.?
  6. How can we understand the relationships between the mediation of memory and ideology formation, hegemony and power, reason, mythos and logos?
  7. Is there a utopian dimension to memory, remembering and communication?
  8. What are the outlines of a contemporary theory of rhetorical memoria and how do they relate to a descriptive and normative theory of communicative competence?
  9. What is the role of communicating memory and of remembering in the constitution and dynamics of the subject and of intersubjectivity – e.g. in psychoanalysis or the philosophy of mind?

A selection of conference papers will be published in the Section’s Journal, Empedocles – European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication.


Andrew Hoskins (University of Warwick) – “The Mediatization of Memory: Ubiquitous Media and the End of Collective Memory”

Herman Parret (Leuven) – “The Communicative Value of Forgetting”

Anna Reading (London South Bank University) – “Towards a Philosophy of the Globital Memory Field”

Roger Sell (Åbo Akademi University) – “Communication, Literature, Cultural Memory”

For abstracts and brief biographies of the keynote speakers please see LANDMARKS_2_Keynote_Speakers.doc.

For the conference scheme see: Programme Landmarks 2 (update).

To register for the conference please download the registration form.

The conference is taking place in the beautiful buildings of the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, on Russell Square in central London. For information about accommodation and travel please see: IGRS – Where to Stay.

Dowload Call for Papers LANDMARKS 2