Sub-theme 23: Spaces and places of commemoration and remembering


Leanne Cutcher, University of Sydney, Australia
Karen Dale, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
Philip Hancock, University of Essex, United Kingdom
Melissa Tyler, University of Essex, United Kingdom

Call for Papers

In this stream, we hope to create a space in which to explore places and spaces of commemoration and remembering, recalling and re-embodying the ways in which we live in and through spaces and places of recognition and recollection.  Our stream aims to connect to broader debates that have brought space back into critical organizational theory (Beyes and Steyeart 2012, Zhang, Spicer and Hancock 2008, Dale 2005).  Accordingly, we invite papers that explore the ways in which spaces and places of commemoration and remembering contribute to our understanding of space as embodied and embedded. Such a focus will allow us to explore the relations of power and control that determine who and what is commemorated and remembered:  what Judith Butler has called ‘the politics of mourning’ (Butler 2004).  Exploring who and what is remembered could help to explain why commemorative sites are so often highly gendered or racialized.

We are also keen to explore the role of objects and artefacts in constructing and organizing memory, ritual and tradition, and to reflect on the role of art and aesthetics  in shaping what Bell has termed ‘the social construction of organizational memory’ (Bell 2012: 4).  Here papers might focus on how representations of death can be social and organizational products embedded within relations of power and control (Willmott 2000).

Exploring where we commemorate and remember brings place, setting and scale in to our analysis: extending the scale and scope of our focus beyond the local to explore national or global sites of commemoration and collective identity work (Bell and Taylor, 2011; Robertson and White, 2005).  It could also mean exploring non-western perspectives on commemoration and remembering. Here we are mindful of how for indigenous peoples the whole landscape is a site for identity and connectedness to both the present and the past (Wasserman, 1998).

We invite submissions from a broad range of perspective and disciplines that might explore:

  • Embodiment and remembering within/through spaces and places
  • Gendered spaces and places of commemoration and remembering
  • Spaces and places of hope and/or retreat
  • The organization and organizing of commemoration
  • Sociomateriality and artefacts of commemoration
  • Relations of place and race to remembrance
  • Identity, belonging and commemoration
  • The art and aesthetics of commemorating and remembering
  • Visual representations of collective memory and semiotic analyses of commemoration.
  • Metaphors and narrations of death, loss, grief and commemoration
  • History, place and collective guilt
  • Memoryscapes as sites for healing.


Bell, E. (2012). Ways of Seeing Death: A Critical Semiotic Analysis of Organizational Memorialization, Visual Studies. 27(1): 4-17.

Bell, E. & Taylor, S. (2011). Beyond Letting Go and Moving On: New Perspectives on Organizational Death, Loss and Grief, Scandinavian Journal of Management. 27(1): 1-10.

Beyes, T. & Steyaert, C. (2011). Spacing organization: non-representational theory and performing organizational space, Organization, 19(1), 45-61.

Butler, J. (2004). Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso.

Dale, K. (2005). Building a Social Materiality: Spatial and Embodied Politics in Organizational Control, Organization, 12(5), 649-678.

Robertson, R. & White, K.E. (2005). Globalization: Sociology and Cross-Disciplinarity, in C.  Calhoun, C. Rojek and B. Turner (eds) The Sage Handbook of Sociology. London:  Sage Publications,345-366.

Wasserman, J. (1998). To Trace the Shifting Sands:  Community, Ritual, and the Memorial Landscape, Landscape Journal, 42-61.

Willmott, H. (2000). ‘Death: So What? Sociology and Sequestration’, Sociological Review. 48(4), 649-665.

Zhang, Z., Spicer, A. & Hancock, P. (2008). Hyper-Organizational Space in the Work of J.G. Ballard, Organization, 15(6), 889-910.

Leanne Cutcher is an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Work and Organizational Studies at the University of Sydney’s Business School.  Her research explores issues of gender, race, space and age in organisations and has been published in leading journals, including; Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Gender Work and Organisation and Work Employment and Society.

Karen Dale works in the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology at Lancaster University, UK. She has written about embodiment and organisations, most extensively in ‘Anatomising Embodiment and Organisation Theory’ (Palgrave 2001) and about architecture, space and social materiality as related to organisation studies, including ‘The Spaces of Organisation and the Organisation of Space: Power, Identity and Materiality at Work’ with Gibson Burrell (Palgrave 2008).

Philip Hancock is Professor of Work and Organization Studies, Head of the Marketing and Organization subject group, and Deputy Director (Education) of Essex Business School. He has published a few things in some quite good journals, and spent the last couple of years talking to Santa Claus.

Melissa Tyler is a Professor of Work and Organization Studies in the Management, Marketing and Organization group at the University of Essex. Her research on gender and feminist theory and emotional, aesthetic and sexualized forms of labour has been published in a range of edited collections and international journals.

Posted On: June 8, 2014
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