The Labyrinth of Memory: Ethnographic Journeys

The Labyrinth of Memory: Ethnographic Journeys

The Labyrinth of Memory: Ethnographic Journeys

The Labyrinth of Memory: Ethnographic Journeys

Synopsis

This work is a study of the various ways in which individuals and groups use memory narratives to express and form the quality of their lives. Activities of remembering, forgetting, reconstructing, metamorphosizing, and vicariously remembering are described for cultures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Canada, and the United States. The authors find that the territory of memory is bounded by neither space nor time, but exists in the minds of individuals and groups. Memory changes as individuals and cultures change, forming a dialogue between the past and the present in response to present and changing needs. Memories of dislocation, war, torture, famine, and separation are given particular attention for the way they create meaning in the present and future lives of those who remember and share their memories.

Excerpt

The ideas for this volume emerged from a session at the 1992 Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, where Jacob J. Climo and Marea C. Teski cochaired a panel--Memory, Generation and Culture. Sharon Kaufman, University of California, San Francisco, and Jonathon A. Boyarin, New School for Social Research, were discussants for the panel. We thank them for their insightful comments at that time. Additional thanks go to Sharon Kaufman for her useful input in regard to producing a book. We also wish to thank Lynn Flint of Greenwood Publishing Group for her encouragement and patience, and Production Editor Elisabetta Linton for her excellent work with this manuscript.

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