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Flashcards in Memory Deck (20)
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How might memory be defined?

Eyewitnesses to history. The enabling capacity of human existence- it makes us who we are. ‘The shared narratives of the past created by groups, cultures, or nations to define and interpret collectively experienced events’


Moshenska believes the thinking about memory can benefit historians. Why is this?

Collective memory offers insights into processes and practices of group identity creation, contested pasts, cultural hegemony, and resistance. It offers a sense of political relevance, of memory as counter-history and counter-hegemony, that has attracted politically engaged scholars.


Why does Rosenfeld suggest that the concept of memory has become so important?

Due to the existence of unmastered pasts since the end of WWI. These are historical legacies that have an unsettled status in society. E.g. genocide, oppression.


To Pierre Nora, what was the acceleration of history?

The present quickly becomes the past, and memory overtaken by history. Living memory then becomes a dead history.


What did Nora argue about memory and history?

Argued that there was a distance between memory and history. The recorded = history, this endangered the recollection by individuals. Memory is both multiple and specific, as everyone has the capacity to remember. History belongs to everyone and no one


What are sites of memory?

Literal and figurative places where continuity with the informal past remains intact. They might be things like monuments or rituals. Therefore these sites form powerful markers of identity e.g. Trafalgar Square, or Boundary stones (Ancient Place markers)


What was the memory boom?

In the 1980s and 1990s there was a growing interest in the study of memory, evidenced by new handbooks, anthologies and journals. It refers both to the rise in memorialisation in society, and to scholarly interest in the process


Why is the concept of memory so important and useful in Germany?

In Germany there emerged a Memoria-Kultur. This is because Germany has a proliferation of unmastered pasts- this allowed it to masters its past, sometimes in a brutally honest fashion. Rather than forget, it memorialised


Give some examples of how Germany tried to master its past?

creation of museums to centre the realities of Nazism - former Reich Security building, Auschwitz site


What is the significance of individual memories

They can sometimes come into conflict with other individual memories, as well as with the dominant narrative. They are contained within eyewitness accounts, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, oral testimony


Where does the process of forgetting come to play a role in the study of memory?

It may be a conscious activity, even undertaken by the political state e.g. Indemnity and Oblivion Act 1660 that pardoned those who had committed a range of minor crimes during the civil war period.


How might the ideas of Ranger and Hobsbawm come into tension with those of Nora?

Nora embraced the notion of organic tradition and related it to history and memory, but Ranger and Hobsbawm turned a critical eye to it. From a Marxist perspective they argued that National identities were the product of an elite cultural hegemony = 'invented traditions' that were a way of allowing the ruling elite to reign easily with little contest. They produce cohesion


How might the media impact memories?

Constructed memories could replace individual memories. The media might dilute these as they will portray a certain narrative of events, which may substitute those of an individual, or they may adopt these into their own consciousness. For example, Anzac memories


What are the different types of memory that Assmann identifies?

Social- stays alive for 80-100 years
Cultural- communicated with the help of materials means are not temporally limited (functional= group related, selective, normative, and future orientated)
(storage= embodied in material representations)


What is mnemohistory?

Emerged in 1997, concerned not with the past but only with the past as its remembered (real historical thinking must take account of its own historicity)


Why are the nature and dynamics of collective memories frequently misrepresented? What does Kansteiner suggest to overcome these problems?

Collective memory studies have not yet been sufficiently conceptualised from individual memory. Collective memory studies are not yet paid enough attention to the problem of reception both in terms of methods and sources. These problems can be addressed by adopting and further developing the methods of media and communication studies, especially regarding questions of reception.


What does Kansteiner suggest about individual memory?

Language and narrative patterns that we use to express memories are inseparable from the social standards of plausibility and authenticity that they embody and so "there is no such thing as individual memory"


To Kansteiner, what are the significance of images?

Images can act as signposts, directing people who remember to preferred meaning by the fastest route


How does Nora believe that memory has been reconstituted?

The difference between 'true' memory which takes refuge in gestures and habits, in skills passed down by unspoken traditions and the memories transformed by their passage through history which are voluntary and deliberate. There is now a desire to record and preserve everything exactly, this then creates a prosthesis memory.


To Nora, history and memory attaches to different things. What are these?

Memory is attached to sites whereas history is attached to events