Memory and Methodology

Memory and Methodology

Memory and Methodology

Memory and Methodology

Synopsis

The increasing centrality of memory to work being done across a wide range of disciplines has brought along with it vexed questions and far-reaching changes in the way knowledge is pursued. This timely collection provides a forum for demonstrating how various disciplines are addressing these concerns. Is an historian's approach to memory similar to that of theorists in media or cultural studies, or are their understandings in fact contradictory? Which methods of analysis are most appropriate in which contexts? What are the relations between individual and social memory? Why should we study memory and how can it enrich other research? What does its study bring to our understanding of subjectivity, identity and power? In addressing these knotty questions, Memory and Methodology showcases a rich and diverse range of research on memory. Leading scholars in anthropology, history, film and cultural studies address topics including places of memory; trauma, film and popular memory; memory texts; collaborative memory work and technologies of memory. This timely and interdisciplinary study represents a major contribution to our understanding of how memory is shaping contemporary academic research and of how people shape and are shaped by memory.

Excerpt

Over recent years, and as others have noted (Carter and Hirschkop 1997: v), memory has become both a central and an organising concept within research in the humanities and in certain branches of the social sciences. Memory research is currently being pursued in philosophy, history, cultural studies, literature, film, media studies and psychology, not to mention archeology and architecture. As a result of these endeavours, conferences are being organised to disseminate work on memory. Amongst these, Southampton University's ‘Cultural Memory’ conference (1995), Lancaster University's Time and Value’ conference (1997), the Victoria and Albert Museum's ‘Material Memories’ conference (1998), the Freud Museum's ‘Memory in Dispute’ conference (1998), Newcastle University's ‘Refiguring History’ conference (1999) and Lancaster University's ‘Testimonies’ conference (1999) as well as the ‘Frontiers of Memory’ conference (1999) which I co-organised, have all attracted large numbers of engaged and engaging papers and have exuded a real sense of intellectual excitement. Meanwhile, articles and monographs concerned with memory have flooded scholarly journals and the academic presses, while at least one new volume series is concerning itself exclusively with memory research. Consequently, universities have begun to incorporate much of this work into their courses, even in some cases, constructing discrete courses around questions of memory. My own recent experience of organising an international conference to take stock of these developments has impressed upon me the vast numbers of scholars worldwide whose research is currently occupied, in one way or another, with the interrogation and analysis either of the conceptual and historical category of memory, or of individual or social–cultural memories.

This explosion of interest in memory begs several questions. On the one hand, it provokes questions about the reasons for this apparent convergence of interest in memory across the disciplines. On the other hand, however, it provokes questions about the extent to which this apparent convergence represents any more than a pivotal relation to a concept - namely that of memory. In other words, though the humanities . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.