22 April 2011

Jens Brockmeier: Remapping memory

In this Podcast Jens Brockmeier (Manitoba and FU Berlin) talks about his latest paper in Culture & Psychology ‘After the archive: remapping memory’. A must read article for anyone interested in current debates in memory studies.
In this paper I make the case that the notion of memory—the very idea that there is a particular capacity that enables us to remember, to store, and to recall experiences and knowledge, and that in doing so constitutes an essential part of our existence—is in the midst of dissolving. I explore this dissolution of ‘memory’ as an epistemological and cultural paradigm shift. This shift can be observed in a broad spectrum of scientific and scholarly developments and, moreover, in literary, artistic, and public discourses. What all of these have challenged is the idea of memory as storage, an archive. I review four areas of research whose results and debates have fuelled this ‘memory crisis’: the social and cultural, the technological, the literary and the artistic, and the biological and cognitive. At the same time, we find in all these fields emerging perspectives that reach beyond the idea of memory as an archive, offering visions of more open, fleeting, social and cultural practices of remembering and forgetting.

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