History and memory by Geoffrey Cubitt

By Geoffrey Cubitt

In recent times, 'memory' has turn into a significant, although additionally a debatable, idea in ancient reports - a time period that denotes either a brand new and specific box of research and a clean means of conceptualizing heritage as a box of inquiry extra generally.

This ebook, that is aimed either at experts and at scholars, offers historians with an available and stimulating advent to debates and theories approximately reminiscence, and to the diversity of techniques which have been taken to the examine of it in historical past and different disciplines

Contributing in a wide-ranging technique to debate on the various relevant conceptual difficulties of reminiscence experiences, the publication explores the relationships among the person and the collective, among reminiscence as survival and reminiscence as reconstruction, among remembering as a subjective event and as a social or cultural perform, and among reminiscence and heritage as modes of retrospective knowledge.

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Innes (eds), The Uses of the Past in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 6–7. E. Shils, Tradition (Chicago, 1981), p. 167. M. ), Memory Distortion, pp. 346–7. Foot, ‘Remembering, forgetting and inventing’, p. 186. M. , 1992), p. 4. See, for example, A. Landsberg, Prosthetic Memory: the Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture (New York, 2004); C. Locke, ‘Digital memory and the problem of forgetting’, in S. ), Memory and Methodology (Oxford, 2000), pp. 25–37. For useful efforts to draw distinctions between different understandings of collective memory, see J.

As a result, in the twentieth century, arguments linking history and memory were more often intended to ‘democratize’ or ‘popularize’ the discipline. Sometimes, as in Becker’s case, this has been done cautiously, by gently reminding professional historians of their obligations to a larger public. Sometimes, however, the challenge has been a more radical one, openly critical of professional historians’ supposed efforts to affirm a monopoly of historical knowledge. Raphael Samuel’s memorable castigation of what he saw as the inbred, blinkered, archive-fetishizing tribalism of the academic historical profession, in the opening pages of his Theatres of Memory, is a fine example of this.

So long as the French, Germans and Italians exist as separate groups, their collective memories remain incommensurable; the histories of France, Germany and Italy, by contrast, are always envisaged as capable of being synthesized, with each other and with other national histories, into a broader historical account, whose scope is taken to be potentially universal, and whose composition is governed by interpretative principles that are assumed to transcend the narrow perspectives of any particular group.

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