The Centre for Memory and Testimony Studies (CMTS) was created on January 14, 2013. Based at Wilfrid Laurier University, CMTS aims to be a catalyst for interdisciplinary research and a space of confluence for scholars, artists and community agencies working in the field of memory representation and testimonial studies in the 21st century. CMTS seeks to undertake comparative explorations of how memory and its counterpart, forgetting, are represented in Canada and how these approaches compare with other researches, artistic representations and investigations undertaken in other cultural and geographic spaces.
As a point of contact for scholars from different cultural milieus, CMTS plans to foster a diverse array of activities such as scholarly conferences, workshops, art exhibits, and academic publications. By studying testimonies and memory from diverse geographical and political contexts in conjunction with one another, CMTS seeks to stimulate comparative analyses that explore the forms, modes, and languages through which memory and testimony take shape in our societies and cultures.
CMTS has a physical location at Laurier Toronto, a branch of Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada. However, CMTS considers all of its members to be representatives of the Centre, such that wherever members organize activities—Toronto, Barcelona, Paris, Buenos Aires—or wherever they are invited to collaborate, the Centre has its centre.
CMTS acknowledges its Canadian base, its diverse cultural stakes and endeavours, and is committed to organizing international conferences in French and English, as well as promoting the presence of First Nations scholars, students, artists, and activists.
The scope of the activities of CMTS is not only international but also multi-disciplinary, opening the possibility for debate and on-going collaboration among professionals and practitioners who have traditionally been separated from one another. CMTS is open to faculty, students and staff from WLU and other universities, as well as to members from public and private agencies, artists, writers and filmmakers and any one whose work and activities are linked to the field of memory and testimony representations.
CMTS seeks to become a forum for joint initiatives—conferences, workshops, exhibits, teaching programs, and publications—either originating or hosted in Canada.