By Subject: Memory Studies
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Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag
Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity
Israeli youth voyages to Poland are one of the most popular and influential forms of transmission of Holocaust memory in Israeli society. Through intensive participant observation, group discussions, student diaries, and questionnaires, the author demonstrates how the State shapes Poland into a living deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. In the course of the voyage, students undergo a rite de passage, in which they are transformed into victims, victorious survivors, and finally witnesses of the witnesses. By viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and remains, by accompanying the survivors on the sites of their suffering and survival, crying together and performing commemorative ceremonies at the death sites, students from a wide variety of family backgrounds become carriers of Shoah memory. They come to see the State and its defense as the romanticized answer to the Shoah. These voyages are a bureaucratic response to uncertainty and fluidity of identity in an increasingly globalized and fragmented society. This study adds a measured and compassionate ethical voice to ideological debates surrounding educational and cultural forms of encountering the past in contemporary Israel, and raises further questions about the representation of the Holocaust after the demise of the last living witnesses.
Agency in Transnational Memory Politics
Wüstenberg, J. & Sierp, A. (eds)
The dynamics of transnational memory play a central role in modern politics, from postsocialist efforts at transitional justice to the global legacies of colonialism. Yet, the relatively young subfield of transnational memory studies remains underdeveloped and fractured across numerous disciplines, even as nascent, boundary-crossing theories on topics such as multi-vocal, traveling, or entangled remembrance suggest new ways of negotiating difficult political questions. This volume brings together theoretical and practical considerations to provide transnational memory scholars with an interdisciplinary investigation into agency—the “who” and the “how” of cross-border commemoration that motivates activists and fascinates observers.
Subjects: History (General) Sociology Memory Studies
Archeologies of Confession
Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017
Johnson, C. L., Luebke, D. M., Plummer, M. E. & Spohnholz, J. (eds)
Modern religious identities are rooted in collective memories that are constantly made and remade across generations. How do these mutations of memory distort our picture of historical change and the ways that historical actors perceive it? Can one give voice to those whom history has forgotten? The essays collected here examine the formation of religious identities during the Reformation in Germany through case studies of remembering and forgetting—instances in which patterns and practices of religious plurality were excised from historical memory. By tracing their ramifications through the centuries, Archeologies of Confession carefully reconstructs the often surprising histories of plurality that have otherwise been lost or obscured.
Subjects: History: Medieval/Early Modern Memory Studies
Blurring Timescapes, Subverting Erasure
Remembering Ghosts on the Margins of History
Surface-Evans, S., Garrison, A. E. & Supernant, K. (eds)
What happens when we blur time and allow ourselves to haunt or to become haunted by ghosts of the past? Drawing on archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data, Blurring Timescapes, Subverting Erasure demonstrates the value of conceiving of ghosts not just as metaphors, but as mechanisms for making the past more concrete and allowing the negative specters of enduring historical legacies, such as colonialism and capitalism, to be exorcised.
Borders of Belonging
Experiencing History, War and Nation at a Danish Heritage Site
In an era cross-cut with various agendas and expressions of national belonging and global awareness, “the nation” as a collective reference point and experienced entity stands at the center of complex identity struggles. This book explores how such struggles unfold in practice at a highly symbolic battlefield site in the Danish/German borderland. Comprised of an ethnography of two profoundly different institutions – a conventional museum and an experience-based heritage center – it analyses the ways in which staff and visitors interfere with, relate to, and literally “make sense” of the war heritage and its national connotations. Borders of Belonging offers a comparative, in-depth analysis of the practices and negotiations through which history is made and manifested at two houses devoted to the interpretation of one event: the decisive battle of the 1864 war in which Otto von Bismarck, on his way to uniting the new German Empire, led the Prussian army to victory over the Danish. Working through his empirical material to engage with and challenge established theoretical positions in the study of museums, modernity, and tourism, Mads Daugbjerg demonstrates that national belonging is still a key cultural concern, even as it asserts itself in novel, muted, and increasingly experiential ways.
Claims to Memory
Beyond Slavery and Emancipation in the French Caribbean
Why do the people of the French Caribbean still continue to be haunted by the memory of their slave past more than one hundred and fifty years after the abolition of slavery? What process led to the divorce of their collective memory of slavery and emancipation from France's portrayal of these historical phenomena? How are Martinicans and Guadeloupeans today transforming the silences of the past into historical and cultural manifestations rooted in the Caribbean? This book answers these questions by relating the 1998 controversy surrounding the 150th anniversary of France's abolition of slavery to the period of the slave regime spanning the late Enlightenment and the French Revolution. By comparing a diversity of documents—including letters by slaves, free people of color, and planters, as well as writings by the philosophes, royal decrees, and court cases—the author untangles the complex forces of the slave regime that have shaped collective memory. The current nationalization of the memory of slavery in France has turned these once peripheral claims into passionate political and cultural debates.
Jean Cayrol, the Lazarean and the Everyday in Post-war Film, Literature, Music and the Visual Arts
Pollock, G. & Silverman, M. (eds)
Largely forgotten over the years, the seminal work of French poet, novelist and camp survivor Jean Cayrol has experienced a revival in the French-speaking world since his death in 2005. His concept of a concentrationary art—the need for an urgent and constant aesthetic resistance to the continuing effects of the concentrationary universe—proved to be a major influence for Hannah Arendt and other writers and theorists across a number of disciplines. Concentrationary Art presents the first translation into English of Jean Cayrol’s key essays on the subject, as well as the first book-length study of how we might situate and elaborate his concept of a Lazarean aesthetic in cultural theory, literature, cinema, music and contemporary art.
Europeanizing Contemporary Histories
Jarausch, K. H. & Lindenberger, T. (eds)
Despite the growing interest in general European history, the European dimension is surprisingly absent from the writing of contemporary history. In most countries, the historiography on the 20th century continues to be dominated by national perspectives. Although there is cross-national work on specific topics such as occupation or resistance, transnational conceptions and narratives of contemporary European history have yet to be worked out. This volume focuses on the development of a shared conception of recent European history that will be required as an underpinning for further economic and political integration so as to make lasting cooperation on the old continent possible. It tries to overcome the traditional national framing that ironically persists just at a time when organized efforts to transform Europe from an object of debate to an actual subject have some chance of succeeding in making it into a polity in its own right.
Death of the Father
An Anthropology of the End in Political Authority
Borneman, J. (ed)
The death of authority figures like fathers or leaders can be experienced as either liberation or loss. In the twentieth century, the authority of the father and of the leader became closely intertwined; constraints and affective attachments intensified in ways that had major effects on the organization of regimes of authority. This comparative volume examines the resulting crisis in symbolic identification, the national traumas that had crystallized around four state political forms: Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and East European Communism. The defeat of Imperial and Fascist regimes in 1945 and the implosion of Communist regimes in 1989 were critical moments of rupture, of "death of the father." What was the experience of their ends, and what is the reconstruction of those ends in memory?
This volume represents is the beginning of a comparative social anthropology of caesurae: the end of traumatic political regimes, of their symbolic forms, political consequences, and probable futures.
Memory, Politics, and Nation among Cubans in Spain
Berg, M. L.
Interpretations of the background to the Cuban diaspora – a political revolution and the subsequent radical transformation of the society and economy towards socialism – are politicised and highly contested. The Miami-based Cuban diaspora has had extraordinary success in putting its case high on the US political agenda and in capturing world media attention, but in the process the multiplicity of experiences within the diaspora has been overshadowed. This book gives voice to diasporic Cubans living in Spain, the former colonial ruler of Cuba. By focusing on their lived experiences of displacement, the book brings to light imaginative, narrative re-creations of the nation from afar. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, the book argues that the Cuban diaspora in Spain consists of three diasporic generations, generated through distinct migratory experiences. This constitutes an important step forward in understanding the dynamics of memory-making and social differentiation within diasporas, and in appreciating why people within the same diaspora engage in different modes of transnational practices and homeland relations.
Dynamics of Memory and Identity in Contemporary Europe
Langenbacher, E., Niven, B., & Wittlinger, R. (eds)
The collapse of the Iron Curtain, the renationalization of eastern Europe, and the simultaneous eastward expansion of the European Union have all impacted the way the past is remembered in today’s eastern Europe. At the same time, in recent years, the Europeanization of Holocaust memory and a growing sense of the need to stage a more “self-critical” memory has significantly changed the way in which western Europe commemorates and memorializes the past. The increasing dissatisfaction among scholars with the blanket, undifferentiated use of the term “collective memory” is evolving in new directions. This volume brings the tension into focus while addressing the state of memory theory itself.
Memory, Affect and Creativity in Times of Ecological Upheavals
Angé, O. & Berliner, D. (eds)
Introducing the study of econostalgias through a variety of rich ethnographic cases, this volume argues that a strictly human centered approach does not account for contemporary longings triggered by ecosystem upheavals. In this time of climate change, this book explores how nostalgia for fading ecologies unfolds into the interstitial spaces between the biological, the political and the social, regret and hope, the past, the present and the future.
Empire and After
Englishness in Postcolonial Perspective
MacPhee, G. & Poddar, P. (eds)
The growing debate over British national identity, and the place of "Englishness" within it, raises crucial questions about multiculturalism, postimperial culture and identity, and the past and future histories of globalization. However, discussions of Englishness have too often been limited by insular conceptions of national literature, culture, and history, which serve to erase or marginalize the colonial and postcolonial locations in which British national identity has been articulated. This volume breaks new ground by drawing together a range of disciplinary approaches in order to resituate the relationship between British national identity and Englishness within a global framework. Ranging from the literature and history of empire to analyses of contemporary culture, postcolonial writing, political rhetoric, and postimperial memory after 9/11, this collection demonstrates that far from being parochial or self-involved, the question of Englishness offers an important avenue for thinking about the politics of national identity in our postcolonial and globalized world.
The Enemy on Display
The Second World War in Eastern European Museums
Bogumił, Z., Wawrzyniak, J., Buchen, T., Ganzer, C. & Senina, M.
Eastern European museums represent traumatic events of World War II, such as the Siege of Leningrad, the Warsaw Uprisings, and the Bombardment of Dresden, in ways that depict the enemy in particular ways. This image results from the interweaving of historical representations, cultural stereotypes and beliefs, political discourses, and the dynamics of exhibition narratives. This book presents a useful methodology for examining museum images and provides a critical analysis of the role historical museums play in the contemporary world. As the catastrophes of World War II still exert an enormous influence on the national identities of Russians, Poles, and Germans, museum exhibits can thus play an important role in this process.
Subjects: Museum Studies Memory Studies
European Memories of the Second World War
Peitsch, H., Burdett, C. & Gorrara, C. (eds)
During the fifty years since the end of hostilities, European literary memories of the war have undergone considerable change, influenced by the personal experiences of writers as well as changing political, social, and cultural factors. This volume examines changing ways of remembering the war in the literatures of France, Germany, and Italy; changes in the subject of memory, and in the relations between fiction, autobiography, and documentary, with the focus being on the extent to which shared European memories of the war have been constructed.
Subjects: Memory Studies
A European Memory?
Contested Histories and Politics of Remembrance
Pakier, M. & Stråth, B. (eds)
An examination of the role of history and memory is vital in order to better understand why the grand design of a United Europe—with a common foreign policy and market yet enough diversity to allow for cultural and social differences—was overwhelmingly turned down by its citizens. The authors argue that this rejection of the European constitution was to a certain extent a challenge to the current historical grounding used for further integration and further demonstrates the lack of understanding by European bureaucrats of the historical complexity and divisiveness of Europe’s past. A critical European history is therefore urgently needed to confront and re-imagine Europe, not as a harmonious continent but as the outcome of violent and bloody conflicts, both within Europe as well as with its Others. As the authors show, these dark shadows of Europe’s past must be integrated, and the fact that memories of Europe are contested must be accepted if any new attempts at a United Europe are to be successful.
Exhibiting Europe in Museums
Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives, and Representations
Kaiser, W., Krankenhagen, S. & Poehls, K.
Museums of history and contemporary culture face many challenges in the modern age. One is how to react to processes of Europeanization and globalization, which require more cross-border cooperation and different ways of telling stories for visitors. This book investigates how museums exhibit Europe. Based on research in nearly 100 museums across the Continent and interviews with cultural policy makers and museum curators, it studies the growing transnational activities of state institutions, societal organizations, and people in the museum field such as attempts to Europeanize collection policy and collections as well as different strategies for making narratives more transnational like telling stories of European integration as shared history and discussing both inward and outward migration as a common experience and challenge. The book thus provides fascinating insights into a fast-changing museum landscape in Europe with wider implications for cultural policy and museums in other world regions.
Subjects: Museum Studies Memory Studies
Experience and Memory
The Second World War in Europe
Echternkamp, J. & Martens, S. (eds)
Modern military history, inspired by social and cultural historical approaches, increasingly puts the national histories of the Second World War to the test. New questions and methods are focusing on aspects of war and violence that have long been neglected. What shaped people’s experiences and memories? What differences and what similarities existed in Eastern and Western Europe? How did the political framework influence the individual and the collective interpretations of the war? Finally, what are the benefits of Europeanizing the history of the Second World War? Experts from Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, and Russia discuss these and other questions in this comprehensive volume.
Subjects: Memory Studies
Forging the Collective Memory
Government and International Historians through Two World Wars
Wilson, K. (ed)
When studying the origins of the First World War, scholars have relied heavily on the series of key diplomatic documents published by the governments of both the defeated and the victorious powers in the 1920s and 1930s. However, this volume shows that these volumes, rather than dealing objectively with the past, were used by the different governments to project an interpretation of the origins of the Great War that was more palatable to them and their country than the truth might have been. In revealing policies that influenced the publication of the documents, the relationships between the commissioning governments, their officials, and the historians involved, this collection serves as a warning that even seemingly objective sources have to be used with caution in historical research.
Subjects: Memory Studies
From Antiquities to Heritage
Transformations of Cultural Memory
Eighteenth-century gentleman scholars collected antiquities. Nineteenth-century nation states built museums to preserve their historical monuments. In the present world, heritage is a global concern as well as an issue of identity politics. What does it mean when runic stones or medieval churches are transformed from antiquities to monuments to heritage sites? This book argues that the transformations concern more than words alone: They reflect fundamental changes in the way we experience the past, and the way historical objects are assigned meaning and value in the present. This book presents a series of cases from Norwegian culture to explore how historical objects and sites have changed in meaning over time. It contributes to the contemporary debates over collective memory and cultural heritage as well to our knowledge about early modern antiquarianism.
Subjects: Museum Studies Memory Studies Heritage Studies
The Future of Memory
Crownshaw, R., Kilby, J. & Rowland, A. (eds)
Memory studies has become a rapidly growing area of scholarly as well as public interest. This volume brings together world experts to explore the current critical trends in this new academic field. It embraces work on diverse but interconnected phenomena, such as twenty-first century museums, shocking memorials in present-day Rwanda and the firsthand testimony of the victims of genocidal conflicts. The collection engages with pressing ‘real world’ issues, such as the furor around the recent 9/11 memorial, and what we really mean when we talk about ‘trauma’.
The Politics of Memorializing Traumatic Death
Margry, P. J. & Sánchez-Carretero, C. (eds)
Grassroots memorials have become major areas of focus during times of trauma, danger, and social unrest. These improvised memorial assemblages continue to display new and more dynamic ways of representing collective and individual identities and in doing so reveal the steps that shape the national memories of those who struggle to come to terms with traumatic loss. This volume focuses on the hybrid quality of these temporary memorials as both monuments of mourning and as focal points for protest and expression of discontent. The broad range of case studies in this volume include anti-mafia shrines, Theo van Gogh’s memorial, September 11th memorials, March 11th shrines in Madrid, and Carlo Giuliani memorials in Genoa.
The Rediscovery and Commemoration of Russia's Repressive Past
Though the institution of the Gulag was nominally closed over half a decade ago, it lives on as an often hotly contested site of memory in the post-socialist era. This ethnographic study takes a holistic, comprehensive approach to understanding memories of the Gulag, and particularly the language of commemoration that surrounds it in present-day Russian society. It focuses on four regions of particular historical significance—the Solovetsky Islands, the Komi Republic, the Perm region, and Kolyma—to carefully explore how memories become a social phenomenon, how objects become heritage, and how the human need to create sites of memory has preserved the Gulag in specific ways today.
Haunted by History
Myths in International Relations
Buffet, C. & Heuser, B. (eds)
Europe is a continent weighed down by the shadows of its past, its wars, the traditional enmities, the suspicions of neighbours fuelled by historical memories. This has immediate consequences for the understanding and representation of the past: journalists, politicians, historians often apply simplistic, pre-conceived patterns, i.e., myths, to current events, resulting in distorted and misleading analyses. This volume exposes the way some historical myths, such as Balance of Power, Rapallo, the Special Relationship, the Franco-German Couple, the Peril of Islam, are used to blur, not to clarify our understanding of international affairs, even to manipulate contemporary politics.
Historical Memory in Africa
Dealing with the Past, Reaching for the Future in an Intercultural Context
Diawara, M., Lategan, B., & Rüsen, J. (eds)
A vast amount of literature—both scholarly and popular—now exists on the subject of historical memory, but there is remarkably little available that is written from an African perspective. This volume explores the inner dynamics of memory in all its variations, from its most destructive and divisive impact to its remarkable potential to heal and reconcile. It addresses issues on both the conceptual and the pragmatic level and its theoretical observations and reflections are informed by first-hand experiences and comparative reflections from a German, Indian, and Korean perspective. A new insight is the importance of the future dimension of memory and hence the need to develop the ability to ‘remember with the future in mind’. Historical memory in an African context provides a rich kaleidoscope of the diverse experiences and perspectives—and yet there are recurring themes and similar conclusions, connecting it to a global dialogue to which it has much to contribute, but from which it also has much to receive.
Resettlement, Memories, Identities
Ofer, D., Ouzan, F. S., & Baumel-Schwartz, J. D. (eds)
Many books on Holocaust survivors deal with their lives in the Displaced Persons camps, with memory and remembrance, and with the nature of their testimonies. Representing scholars from different countries and different disciplines such as history, sociology, demography, psychology, anthropology, and literature, this collection explores the survivors’ return to everyday life and how their experience of Nazi persecution and the Holocaust impacted their process of integration into various European countries, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and Israel. Thus, it offers a rich mix of perspectives, disciplines, and communities.
Subjects: Genocide History Jewish Studies Memory Studies
House of the Waterlily
A Novel of the Ancient Maya World
Set in the Maya civilization’s Late Classic Period House of the Waterlily is a historical novel centered on Lady Winik, a young Maya royal. Through tribulations that mirror the political calamities of the Late Classic world, Winik’s personal story immerses the reader not only in her daily life, but also in the difficult decisions Maya men and women must have faced as they tried to navigate a rapidly changing world. Kelli Carmean’s novel brings to life a people and an era remote from our own, yet recognizably human all the same.
Kuhn, A. & McAllister, K. (eds)
As a visual medium, the photograph has many culturally resonant properties that it shares with no other medium. These essays develop innovative cultural strategies for reading, re-reading and re-using photographs, as well as for (re)creating photographs and other artworks and evoke varied sites of memory in contemporary landscapes: from sites of war and other violence through the lost places of indigenous peoples to the once-familiar everyday places of home, family, neighborhood and community. Paying close attention to the settings in which such photographs are made and used--family collections, public archives, museums, newspapers, art galleries--the contributors consider how meanings in photographs may be shifted, challenged and renewed over time and for different purposes--from historical inquiry to quests for personal, familial, ethnic and national identity.
Holocaust Memory in the Global Age
Goldberg, A. & Hazan, H. (eds)
Talking about the Holocaust has provided an international language for ethics, victimization, political claims, and constructions of collective identity. As part of a worldwide vocabulary, that language helps set the tenor of the era of globalization. This volume addresses manifestations of Holocaust-engendered global discourse by critically examining their function and inherent dilemmas, and the ways in which Holocaust-related matters still instigate public debate and academic deliberation. It contends that the contradiction between the totalizing logic of globalization and the assumed uniqueness of the Holocaust generates continued intellectual and practical discontent.
Memoirs of a Mbororo
The Life of Ndudi Umaru: Fulani Nomad of Cameroon
This remarkable book recounts the life of Ndudi Umaru, a pastoral nomadic Fulani, who was born in the Nigeria-Cameroon border zone, but spent most of his life in Cameroon where he was treated for leprosy. Left to his own devices at an early age—his illness having separated him from his kith and kin—Ndudi is befriended by Père Boquené, a French missionary who takes him on as a field assistant. Working closely with the young man, Père Boquené realizes Ndudi is a keen observer of his own pastoral society, with its links to a wider social setting, and suggests he record his observations on tape. The result is a rare and sensitive collaboration, which sheds new insight into the world of the Mbororo and the complex and ever-changing social mosaic of West African savanna societies. Ndudi's leprosy and his efforts to find a cure grant him the necessary perspective to analyze this complex world, while still remaining a part of it.
For the western public, the Mbororo have often been the photogenic subjects of "Disappearing World" documentaries or glossy coffee table books. However, this account renders "the exotic" comprehensible, preserving the cultural authenticity of Ndudi's story while making this unique world more accessible to outsiders.
Memory and Amnesia
The Role of the Spanish Civil War in the Transition to Democracy
Using a rich variety of sources such as official newsreels, school textbooks, the work of contemporary historians, memoirs, official documents, legislation, and monuments, this book explores how the historical memory of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) influenced the transition to democracy in Spain after Franco's death in 1975. The author traces the development of official discourse on the War throughout the Franco period and describes the régime's attempts to achieve political legitimacy. Although there was no universal consensus regarding the events of the Civil War, general agreement did exist concerning the main lesson which should be drawn from it: never again should Spaniards become embroiled in a fratricidal conflict.
Memory and Change in Europe
Pakier, M. & Wawrzyniak, J. (eds)
In studies of a common European past, there is a significant lack of scholarship on the former Eastern Bloc countries. While understanding the importance of shifting the focus of European memory eastward, contributors to this volume avoid the trap of Eastern European exceptionalism, an assumption that this region’s experiences are too unique to render them comparable to the rest of Europe. They offer a reflection on memory from an Eastern European historical perspective, one that can be measured against, or applied to, historical experience in other parts of Europe. In this way, the authors situate studies on memory in Eastern Europe within the broader debate on European memory.
Subjects: History (General) Sociology Memory Studies
Tracing the Dynamics of Memory Studies
Bond, L., Craps, S., & Vermeulen, P. (eds)
Though still a relatively young field, memory studies has undergone significant transformations since it first coalesced as an area of inquiry. Increasingly, scholars understand memory to be a fluid, dynamic, unbound phenomenon—a process rather than a reified object. Embodying just such an elastic approach, this state-of-the-field collection systematically explores the transcultural, transgenerational, transmedial, and transdisciplinary dimensions of memory—four key dynamics that have sometimes been studied in isolation but never in such an integrated manner. Memory Unbound places leading researchers in conversation with emerging voices in the field to recast our understanding of memory’s distinctive variability.
Migration, Memory, and Diversity
Germany from 1945 to the Present
Wilhelm, C. (ed)
Within Germany, policies and cultural attitudes toward migrants have been profoundly shaped by the difficult legacies of the Second World War and its aftermath. This wide-ranging volume explores the complex history of migration and diversity in Germany from 1945 to today, showing how conceptions of “otherness” developed while memories of the Nazi era were still fresh, and identifying the continuities and transformations they exhibited through the Cold War and reunification. It provides invaluable context for understanding contemporary Germany’s unique role within regional politics at a time when an unprecedented influx of immigrants and refugees present the European community with a significant challenge.
Stories from the Human Past
In unforgettable stories of the human journey, a combination of storytelling and dialogue underscore an excavation into the deep past of human development and its consequences. Through a first encounter between a Neanderthal woman and the Modern Human she called Traveler, to the emergence and destruction of the world’s first cities, Mixed Harvest tells the tale of the Sedentary Divide, the most significant event since modern humans emerged. Rob Swigart’s latest work humanizes the rapid transition to agriculture and pastoralism with a grounding in the archaeological record.
The Mobility of Memory
Migrations and Diasporas across European Borders
Passerini, L., Trakilović, M., & Proglio, G. (eds)
Migration is most concretely defined by the movement of human bodies, but it leaves indelible traces on everything from individual psychology to major social movements. Drawing on extensive field research, and with a special focus on Italy and the Netherlands, this interdisciplinary volume explores the interrelationship of migration and memory at scales both large and small, ranging across topics that include oral and visual forms of memory, archives, and artistic innovations. By engaging with the complex tensions between roots and routes, minds and bodies, The Mobility of Memory offers an incisive and empirically grounded perspective on a social phenomenon that continues to reshape both Europe and the world.
Narratives in the Making
Writing the East German Past in the Democratic Present
Despite the three decades that have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the historical narrative of East Germany is hardly fixed in public memory, as German society continues to grapple with the legacies of the Cold War. This fascinating ethnography looks at two very different types of local institutions in one eastern German state that take divergent approaches to those legacies: while publicly funded organizations reliably cast the GDR as a dictatorship, a main regional newspaper offers a more ambivalent perspective colored by the experiences and concerns of its readers. As author Anselma Gallinat shows, such memory work—initially undertaken after fundamental regime change—inevitably shapes citizenship and democracy in the present.
National Policy, Global Memory
The Commemoration of the “Righteous” from Jerusalem to Paris, 1942-2007
Since 1963, the state of Israel has awarded the title of “Righteous among the Nations” to individuals who risked their lives sheltering Jews during the Holocaust. This distinction remained solely an Israeli initiative until the late 1990s, when European governments began developing their own national categories, the most prominent of which was the “Righteous of France,” honoring those who protected Jews during the Vichy regime. In National Policy, Global Memory, Sarah Gensburger uses this dramatic episode to lend a new perspective to debates over memory and nationhood. In particular, she works to combine two often divergent disciplines—memory studies and political science—to study “memory politics” as a form of public policy.
Panamanian Museums and Historical Memory
Sánchez Laws, A. L.
Panama is an ethnically diverse country with a recent history of political conflict which makes the representation of historical memory an especially complex and important task for the country’s museums. This book studies new museum projects in Panama with the aim of identifying the dominant narratives that are being formed as well as those voices that remain absent and muted. Through case analyses of specific museums and exhibitions the author identifies and examines the influences that form and shape museum strategy and development.
Subjects: Museum Studies Memory Studies
Media and the Politics of Memory in Japan
Guarné, B., Lozano-Méndez, A., & Martinez, D. P. (eds)
From melodramas to experimental documentaries to anime, mass media in Japan constitute a key site in which the nation’s social memory is articulated, disseminated, and contested. Through a series of stimulating case studies, this volume examines the political and cultural representations of Japan’s past, showing how they have reinforced personal and collective narratives while also formulating new cultural meanings, both on a local scale and in the context of transnational media production and consumption. Drawing upon diverse disciplinary insights and methodologies, these studies collectively offer a nuanced account in which mass media function as much more than a simple ideological tool.
Places of Pain
Forced Displacement, Popular Memory and Trans-local Identities in Bosnian War-torn Communities
For displaced persons, memory and identity is performed, (re)constructed and (re)negotiated daily. Forced displacement radically reshapes identity, with results ranging from successful hybridization to feelings of permanent misplacement. This compelling and intimate description of places of pain and (be)longing that were lost during the 1992–95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as of survivors’ places of resettlement in Australia, Europe and North America, serves as a powerful illustration of the complex interplay between place, memory and identity. It is even more the case when those places have been vandalized, divided up, brutalized and scarred. However, as the author shows, these places of humiliation and suffering are also places of desire, with displaced survivors emulating their former homes in the far corners of the globe where they have resettled.
Todorova, M. & Gille, Z. (eds)
Although the end of the Cold War was greeted with great enthusiasm by people in the East and the West, the ensuing social and especially economic changes did not always result in the hoped-for improvements in people’s lives. This led to widespread disillusionment that can be observed today all across Eastern Europe. Not simply a longing for security, stability, and prosperity, this nostalgia is also a sense of loss regarding a specific form of sociability. Even some of those who opposed communism express a desire to invest their new lives with renewed meaning and dignity. Among the younger generation, it surfaces as a tentative yet growing curiosity about the recent past. In this volume scholars from multiple disciplines explore the various fascinating aspects of this nostalgic turn by analyzing the impact of generational clusters, the rural-urban divide, gender differences, and political orientation. They argue persuasively that this nostalgia should not be seen as a wish to restore the past, as it has otherwise been understood, but instead it should be recognized as part of a more complex healing process and an attempt to come to terms both with the communist era as well as the new inequalities of the post-communist era.
The Presence of the Past in the Era of the Nation-State
Argenti, N. (ed)
How are historians and social scientists to understand the emergence, the multiplicity, and the mutability of collective memories of the Ottoman Empire in the political formations that succeeded it? With contributions focussing on several of the nation-states whose peoples once were united under the aegis of Ottoman suzerainty, this volume proposes new theoretical approaches to the experience and transmission of the past through time. Developing the concept of topology, contributors explore collective memories of Ottoman identity and post-Ottoman state formation in a contemporary epoch that, echoing late modernity, we might term “late nationalism”.
Subjects: Sociology Anthropology (General) Memory Studies
Re-presenting the Shoah for the 21st Century
Lentin, R. (ed)
Despite Adorno's famous dictum, the memory of the Shoah features prominently in the cultural legacy of the 20th century and beyond. It has led to a proliferation of works of representation and re-memorialization which have brought in their wake concerns about a 'holocaust industry' and banalization. This volume sheds fresh light on some of the issues, such as the question of silence and denial, of the formation of contemporary identities — German, East European, Jewish or Israeli, the consequences of the legacy of the Shoah for survivors and for the 'second generation,' and the political, ideological, and professional implications of Shoah historiography. One of the conclusions to be drawn from this volume is that the 'Auschwitz code,' invoked in relation to all 'unspeakable' catastrophes, has impoverished our vocabulary; it does not help us remember the Shoah and its victims, but rather erases that memory.
Subjects: Genocide History Jewish Studies Memory Studies
Recollections of France
Memories, Identities and Heritage in Contemporary France
Blowen, S., Demossier, M. & Picard, J. (eds)
Since the 1980s, France has experienced a vigorous revival of interest in its past and cultural heritage. This has been expressed as part of a movement of remembering through museums and festivals as well as via elaborate commemorations, most notably those held to celebrate the bi-centenary of the Revolution in 1989 and can be interpreted as part of a re-examinaton of what it means to be French in the context of ongoing Europeanization. This study brings together scholars from multidisciplinary backgrounds and engages them in debate with professionals from France, who are working in the fields of museology, heritage and cultural production. Addressing subjects such as war and memory, gastronomy and regional identity, maritime culture and urban societies, they throw fresh light on the process by which France has been conceptualized and packaged as a cultural object.
Remembering a Vanished World
A Jewish Childhood in Interwar Poland
Theodore Hamerow, a prominent historian, was born in Warsaw in 1920 and spent his childhood in Poland and Germany. His parents were members of the best-known Yiddish theater ensemble, the Vilna Company. They were part of an important movement in the Jewish community of Eastern Europe which sought, during the half century before World War II, to create a secular Jewish culture, the vehicle of which would be the Yiddish language.
Combining the skills of an experienced historian with the talents of a natural writer, the author not only brings this exciting part of Jewish culture to life but also deals with ethnic relations and ethnic tensions in the region and addresses the broad political and cultural issues of a society on the verge of destruction. Thus a vivid image emerges that captures the feel and atmosphere of a world that has vanished forever.
Resettlers and Survivors
Bukovina and the Politics of Belonging in West Germany and Israel, 1945–1989
Located on the border of present-day Romania and Ukraine, the historical region of Bukovina was the site of widespread displacement and violence as it passed from Romanian to Soviet hands and back again during World War II. This study focuses on two groups of “Bukovinians”—ethnic Germans and German-speaking Jews—as they navigated dramatically changed political and social circumstances in and after 1945. Through comparisons of the narratives and self-conceptions of these groups, Resettlers and Survivors gives a nuanced account of how they dealt with the difficult legacies of World War II, while exploring Bukovina’s significance for them as both a geographical location and a “place of memory.”
Restitution and Memory
Material Restoration in Europe
Diner, D. & Wunberg, G. (eds)
The myriad debates on restitution and memory, which have been going on in Europe for decades, indicate that World War II never ended. It is still very much with us, paradoxically re-invoked by the events of 1989/90 and the expansion of Europe to the east in the aftermath of the collapse of communism and economic globalization. The growing privatization and reprivatization in Eastern Europe revive pre-war memories that lay buried under the blanket of collectivization and nationalization of property after 1945. World War II did not only result in the death and destruction on a large scale but also in an a far-reaching revolution of existing property relations. This volume offers an assessment of the problematic of restitution and its close interconnection with the discourses of memory that have recently emerged.
History, Memory and Politics, 1922 to the Present
García, H., Yusta, M., Tabet, X., & Climaco, C. (eds)
Bringing together leading scholars from a range of nations, Rethinking Antifascism provides a fascinating exploration of one of the most vibrant sub-disciplines within recent historiography. Through case studies that exemplify the field’s breadth and sophistication, it examines antifascism in two distinct realms: after surveying the movement’s remarkable diversity across nations and political cultures up to 1945, the volume assesses its postwar political and ideological salience, from its incorporation into Soviet state doctrine to its radical questioning by historians and politicians. Avoiding both heroic narratives and reflexive revisionism, these contributions offer nuanced perspectives on a movement that helped to shape the postwar world.
Rivers, Memory, And Nation-building
A History of the Volga and Mississippi Rivers
Rivers figure prominently in a nation’s historical memory, and the Volga and Mississippi have special importance in Russian and American cultures. Beginning in the pre-modern world, both rivers served as critical trade routes connecting cultures in an extensive exchange network, while also sustaining populations through their surrounding wetlands and bottomlands. In modern times, “Mother Volga” and the “Father of Waters” became integral parts of national identity, contributing to a sense of Russian and American exceptionalism. Furthermore, both rivers were drafted into service as the means to modernize the nation-state through hydropower and navigation. Despite being forced into submission for modern-day hydrological regimes, the Volga and Mississippi Rivers persist in the collective memory and continue to offer solace, recreation, and sustenance. Through their histories we derive a more nuanced view of human interaction with the environment, which adds another lens to our understanding of the past.
Memory and History in Post-Soviet Estonia
Located within the forgotten half of Europe, historically trapped between Germany and Russia, Estonia has been profoundly shaped by the violent conflicts and shifting political fortunes of the last century. This innovative study traces the tangled interaction of Estonian historical memory and national identity in a sweeping analysis extending from the Great War to the present day. At its heart is the enduring anguish of World War Two and the subsequent half-century of Soviet rule. Shadowlands tells this story by foregrounding the experiences of the country’s intellectuals, who were instrumental in sustaining Estonian historical memory, but who until fairly recently could not openly grapple with their nation’s complex, difficult past.
Shakespeare and Commemoration
Calvo, C. & Hoenselaars, T. (eds)
Memory and commemoration play a vital role not only in the work of Shakespeare, but also in the process that has made him a world author. As the contributors of this collection demonstrate, the phenomenon of commemoration has no single approach, as it occurs on many levels, has a long history, and is highly unpredictable in its manifestations. With an international focus and a comparative scope that explores the afterlives also of other artists, this volume shows the diverse modes of commemorative practices involving Shakespeare. Delving into these “cultures of commemoration,” it presents keen insights into the dynamics of authorship, literary fame, and afterlives in its broader socio-historical contexts.
Silence, Screen, and Spectacle
Rethinking Social Memory in the Age of Information
Freeman, L. A., Nienass, B., & Daniell, R. (eds)
In an age of information and new media the relationships between remembering and forgetting have changed. This volume addresses the tension between loud and often spectacular histories and those forgotten pasts we strain to hear. Employing social and cultural analysis, the essays within examine mnemonic technologies both new and old, and cover subjects as diverse as U.S. internment camps for Japanese Americans in WWII, the Canadian Indian Residential School system, Israeli memorial videos, and the desaparecidos in Argentina. Through these cases, the contributors argue for a re-interpretation of Guy Debord’s notion of the spectacle as a conceptual apparatus through which to examine the contemporary landscape of social memory, arguing that the concept of spectacle might be developed in an age seen as dissatisfied with the present, nervous about the future, and obsessed with the past. Perhaps now “spectacle” can be thought of not as a tool of distraction employed solely by hegemonic powers, but instead as a device used to answer Walter Benjamin’s plea to “explode the continuum of history” and bring our attention to now-time.
The Sound of Silence
Indigenous Perspectives on the Historical Archaeology of Colonialism
Äikäs, T. & Salmi, A.-K. (eds)
Colonial encounters between indigenous peoples and European state powers are overarching themes in the historical archaeology of the modern era, and postcolonial historical archaeology has repeatedly emphasized the complex two-way nature of colonial encounters. This volume examines common trajectories in indigenous colonial histories, and explores new ways to understand cultural contact, hybridization and power relations between indigenous peoples and colonial powers from the indigenous point of view. By bringing together a wide geographical range and combining multiple sources such as oral histories, historical records, and contemporary discourses with archaeological data, the volume finds new multivocal interpretations of colonial histories.
The Struggle for the Past
How We Construct Social Memories
In all societies—but especially those that have endured political violence—the past is shifting and contested terrain, never fixed and always intertwined with present-day cultural and political circumstances. Organized around Argentine “memory wars” since the 1970s, The Struggle for the Past undertakes an innovative exploration of memory’s dynamic social character. In addition to its analysis of how human rights movements have inflected public memory and democratization in Argentina, it also gives an illuminating account of the emergence and development of Memory Studies as a field and critically reflects on the author’s intellectual and humanitarian projects during this period.
Subjects: Memory Studies Peace and Conflict Studies
The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland
If memory was simply about past events, public authorities would never put their ever-shrinking budgets at its service. Rather, memory is actually about the present moment, as Pierre Nora puts it: “Through the past, we venerate above all ourselves.” This book examines how collective memory and material culture are used to support present political and ideological needs in contemporary society. Using the memorialization of the Troubles in contemporary Northern Ireland as a case study, this book investigates how non-state, often proscribed, organizations have filled a societal vacuum in the creation of public memorials. In particular, these groups have sifted through the past to propose “official” collective narratives of national identification, historical legitimation, and moral justifications for violence.
Time and History
The Variety of Cultures
Rüsen, J. (ed)
This series aims at bridging the gap between historical theory and the study of historical memory as well as western and non-western concepts, for which this volume offers a particularly good example. It explores cultural differences in conceptualizing time and history in countries such as China, Japan, and India as well as pre-modern societies.
To the Bomb and Back
Finnish War Children Tell Their World War II Stories
Saffle, S. (ed)
Between 1939 and 1945, some 80,000 Finnish children were sent to Sweden, Denmark, and elsewhere, ostensibly to protect them from danger while their nation’s soldiers fought superior Soviet and German forces. This was the largest of all of World War II children’s transports, and although acknowledged today as “a great social-historical mistake,” it has received surprisingly little attention. This is the first English-language account of Finland’s war children and their experiences, told through the survivors’ own words. Supported by an extensive introduction, a bibliography of secondary sources, and over two dozen photographs, this book testifies to the often-lifelong traumas endured by youthful survivors of war.
Subjects: Memory Studies
The Train Journey
Transit, Captivity, and Witnessing in the Holocaust
Deportations by train were critical in the Nazis’ genocidal vision of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.” Historians have estimated that between 1941 and 1944 up to three million Jews were transported to their deaths in concentration and extermination camps. In his writings on the “Final Solution,” Raul Hilberg pondered the role of trains: “How can railways be regarded as anything more than physical equipment that was used, when the time came, to transport the Jews from various cities to shooting grounds and gas chambers in Eastern Europe?” This book explores the question by analyzing the victims’ experiences at each stage of forced relocation: the round-ups and departures from the ghettos, the captivity in trains, and finally, the arrival at the camps. Utilizing a variety of published memoirs and unpublished testimonies, the book argues that victims experienced the train journeys as mobile chambers, comparable in importance to the more studied, fixed locations of persecution, such as ghettos and camps.
Subjects: Genocide History Memory Studies Transport Studies
Postsocialist Nostalgia and the Politics of Heroism in Czech Popular Culture
Scholars of state socialism have frequently invoked “nostalgia” to identify an uncritical longing for the utopian ambitions and lived experience of the former Eastern Bloc. However, this concept seems insufficient to describe memory cultures in the Czech Republic and other contexts in which a “retro” fascination with the past has proven compatible with a steadfast critique of the state socialist era. This innovative study locates a distinctively retro aesthetic in Czech literature, film, and other cultural forms, enriching our understanding of not only the nation’s memory culture, but also the ways in which popular culture can structure collective memory.
Views of Violence
Representing the Second World War in German and European Museums and Memorials
Echternhamp, J. & Jaeger, S. (eds)
Twenty-first-century views of historical violence have been immeasurably influenced by cultural representations of the Second World War. Within Europe, one of the key sites for such representation has been the vast array of museums and memorials that reflect contemporary ideas of war, the roles of soldiers and civilians, and the self-perception of those who remember. This volume takes a historical perspective on museums covering the Second World War and explores how these institutions came to define political contexts and cultures of public memory in Germany, across Europe, and throughout the world.
Subjects: Museum Studies Memory Studies
Visitors to the House of Memory
Identity and Political Education at the Jewish Museum Berlin
Bishop Kendzia, V.
As one of the most visited museums in Germany’s capital city, the Jewish Museum Berlin is a key site for understanding not only German-Jewish history, but also German identity in an era of unprecedented ethnic and religious diversity. Visitors to the House of Memory is an intimate exploration of how young Berliners experience the Museum. How do modern students relate to the museum’s evocative architecture, its cultural-political context, and its narrative of Jewish history? By accompanying a range of high school history students before, during, and after their visits to the museum, this book offers an illuminating exploration of political education, affect, remembrance, and belonging.
Walls, Borders, Boundaries
Spatial and Cultural Practices in Europe
Silberman, M., Till, K. E. & Ward, J. (eds)
How is it that walls, borders, boundaries—and their material and symbolic architectures of division and exclusion—engender their very opposite? This edited volume explores the crossings, permeations, and constructions of cultural and political borders between peoples and territories, examining how walls, borders, and boundaries signify both interdependence and contact within sites of conflict and separation. Topics addressed range from the geopolitics of Europe’s historical and contemporary city walls to conceptual reflections on the intersection of human rights and separating walls, the memory politics generated in historically disputed border areas, theatrical explorations of border crossings, and the mapping of boundaries within migrant communities.
The War Memoir in History and Literature
Dwyer, P. (ed)
Although war memoirs constitute a rich, varied literary form, they are often dismissed by historians as unreliable. This collection of essays is one of the first to explore the modern war memoir, revealing the genre’s surprising capacity for breadth and sophistication while remaining sensitive to the challenges it poses for scholars. Covering conflicts from the Napoleonic era to today, the studies gathered here consider how memoirs have been used to transmit particular views of war even as they have emerged within specific social and political contexts.
When Will We Talk About Hitler?
German Students and the Nazi Past
For more than half a century, discourses on the Nazi past have powerfully shaped German social and cultural policy. Specifically, an institutional determination not to forget has expressed a “duty of remembrance” through commemorative activities and educational curricula. But as the horrors of the Third Reich retreat ever further from living memory, what do new generations of Germans actually think about this past? Combining observation, interviews, and archival research, this book provides a rich survey of the perspectives and experiences of German adolescents from diverse backgrounds, revealing the extent to which social, economic, and cultural factors have conditioned how they view representations of Germany’s complex history.
Whose Memory? Which Future?
Remembering Ethnic Cleansing and Lost Cultural Diversity in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe
Törnquist-Plewa, B. (ed)
Scholars have devoted considerable energy to understanding the history of ethnic cleansing in Europe, reconstructing specific events, state policies, and the lived experiences of victims. Yet much less attention has been given to how these incidents persist in collective memory today. This volume brings together interdisciplinary case studies conducted in Central and Eastern European cities, exploring how present-day inhabitants “remember” past instances of ethnic cleansing, and how they understand the cultural heritage of groups that vanished in their wake. Together these contributions offer insights into more universal questions of collective memory and the formation of national identity.
The Witness as Object
Video Testimony in Memorial Museums
Jong, S. de
In recent years, historical witnessing has emerged as a category of "museum object." Audiovisual recordings of interviews with individuals remembering events of historical importance are now integral to the collections and research activities of museums. They have also become important components in narrative and exhibition design strategies. With a focus on Holocaust museums, this study scrutinizes for the first time the new global phenomenon of the "musealization" of the witness to history, exploring the processes, prerequisites, and consequences of the transformation of video testimonies into exhibits.
Writing the Dark Side of Travel
Skinner, J. (ed)
The travel experience filled with personal trauma; the pilgrimage through a war-torn place; the journey with those suffering: these represent the darker sides of travel. What is their allure and how are they represented? This volume takes an ethnographic and interdisciplinary approach to explore the writings and texts of dark journeys and travels. In traveling over the dead, amongst the dying, and alongside the suffering, the authors give us a tour of humanity’s violence and misery. And yet, from this dark side, there comes great beauty and poignancy in the characterization of plight; creativity in the comic, graphic, and graffiti sketches and comments on life; and the sense of profound and spiritual journeys being undertaken, recorded, and memorialized.