Astrid Erll (
Lecture given at the 'Transcultural Memory Conference" (February 4-6, 2010) at Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, London.
source: Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory
Abstract: Recent studies on Holocaust memory have shown the extent to which not only contents, but also forms of remembrance move across the globe and gain momentum in specific local settings. Although processes such as these are certainly facilitated and accelerated by globalization, they are not specific to our times. In fact, viewed in an historical perspective, it seems that cultural memory is fundamentally a transcultural phenomenon, the effect of the 'travel' of representations across time, space and cultures. From the Persian influence on the Old Testament to the confluence of Greek, Roman, Christian and Islamic forms of knowledge in the Renaissance and to the French origins of the 'German fairy tale' – even the 'first memories' of a culture are often likely the product of what I call transcultural remediation. In my lecture I will focus on the theoretical questions bound up with the notion of transcultural memory: the fundamental culturality and mediality of memory; concepts of the 'transcultural' and their implications for memory studies; and the various ways in which media representations move across time, space and cultures.
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