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Major international memory studies conference heading to the UK for the first time

The Memory Studies Association (MSA) will hold its first ever UK meeting in Newcastle this month and is set to attract almost 1,000 international delegates to the city.

The seventh annual meeting of the MSA will be hosted by Newcastle University from 3rd – 7th July. The event has previously been held in major cities such as Seoul, Warsaw and Madrid.

The conference will take place across several venues in Newcastle, including The Frederick Douglass Centre and Urban Science Building. There will also be a public exhibition at Newcastle Contemporary Art which will open throughout the conference week 10 am – 5pm.

The exhibition will bring together installations by local and international artists exploring the role of memory within communities.

Centred around themes of communities and change, the event aims to be the most important forum for the memory field.

 Jen Rea, Head of Business Events and Travel Trade, NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said:

“The MSA’s seventh annual meeting will be an excellent example of a major international conference being brought to life by being hosted in Newcastle.

“Our city’s ample venues, academic links and social programmes are perfect fit for the needs of the event and will enable hundreds of delegates from around the world to share knowledge, best practices and further research into their academic fields.

“As an official city of sanctuary, Newcastle is a prime example of a destination centred around community, and will provide a vital platform for the association to reach future stakeholders and raise awareness about the importance of memory studies as an integral part of society.”

Dr. Catherine Gilbert, Lead Conference Organiser at Newcastle University, said:

“This is the first time this exciting international event is taking place in the UK, and we are proud to be bringing it to the North East.

“The conference theme of ‘Communities and Change’ draws inspiration from Newcastle’s post-industrial material and social landscape and taps into the region’s longstanding record of local activism and heritage. From protecting the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall to its present-day City of Sanctuary status, Newcastle is a city committed to social justice and continues to be shaped by the changing communities that have made it their home.

“The MSA Conference allows us to showcase this rich history and emphasise Newcastle’s position as a key site of cultural memory on the global stage.”

The MSA is a professional association for Memory Studies scholars, as well as those who are active in museums, memorial institutions, archives, the arts and other fields engaged in remembrance.

The field of memory studies explores the way society is shaped by the past and draws on many academic disciplines such as psychology, history, political science and heritage studies.

The public are encouraged to attend the open exhibition as part of the conference, and more information can be found here: Communities and Change — Newcastle Contemporary Art (

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