Beyond Memory: Silence and the Aesthetics of Remembrance analyses the intricate connections between silence, acts of remembrance and acts of forgetting, and relates the topic of silence to the international research field of Cultural Memory Studies. It engages with the most recent work in the field by viewing silence as a remedy to the traditionally binary approach to our understanding of remembering and forgetting.
The international team of contributors examine case studies from colonialism, war, politics and slavery from across the globe, as well as drawing examples from literature, philosophy and sites of memory to draw three main conclusions. Firstly, that the relationship between remembering and forgetting is relational rather than ‘hermetic’, and the space between the two is often occupied by silence. Secondly, silence is a force in itself, capable of stimulating more or less remembrance. Finally, that silence is a necessary and key element in the interaction between the human mind and the ‘outer world’, and enables people to challenge their understanding of art, music, literature, history and memory.
With an introduction by the editors discussing Memory Studies, and concluding remarks by Astrid Erll, this collection demonstrates that acceptance and consideration of silence as having both a performative and aesthetic dimension is an essential component of history and memory studies.
"This path breaking collection reminds us what an energetic enterprise remembering is. Better than any previous scholarship, it also illuminates the necessity of crafting silences in memory projects and illustrates that they are so much more than the result of forgetfulness."
John Bodnar, Indiana University, USA
"Beyond Memory: Silence and the Aesthetics of Remembrance marks a key moment in the burgeoning field of memory studies. The editors and authors steer a clear path through a complicated conceptual terrain to provide convincing responses to the central issue of "silence". Too often framed as inherently negative or compartmentalized within memory, the various case studies within this book rather demonstrate how "silences" are socially constructed and productive in profound cultural, political and intellectual ways. For both students and seasoned scholars, this collection will do exactly what excellent academic books should do, it will stimulate further critical thinking and research."
Sean Field, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Contents List of Images List of Contributors Introduction: Remembering, Forgetting and Silence Alexandre Dessingué and Jay Winter Part I: Silences beyond remembering and forgetting 1. Colonial and Postcolonial Silences: Listening to Kartini in the Netherlands Paul Bijl, University of Amsterdam 2. Making Museum Objects. A Silent Performance of Connection and Loss in Solomon Islands Elizabeth Bonshek, University of Canberra 3. History, Silence and the Detective in Aleksandr Terekhov’s Russian Novel Kamennyi most Julie Hansen, Uppsala University 4. Nostalgic Histories of War: Refugees in Austria-Hungary, 1914-2014 Julie Thorpe, University of Western Sydney Part II: The performativity of silence 5. The Many Sounds of Heidegger’s silence Siobhan Kattago, Tallinn University 6. Silence, Remembering and Forgetting in Wittgenstein, Cage, and Derrida Steffi Hobuss, Leuphana University of Luneburg 7. Cold War Era Silence : The Movement of the Graves of Soviet Prisoners of War in northern Norway Steinar Aas, University of Bodø 8. Strategic silence – Political Persuasion between the remembered and the forgotten Ketil Knutsen, University of Stavanger Part III: Silence as an aesthetic phenomenon 9. Between Memory and Silence, between Family and Nation: Interpreting the First World War through Digital Media Silke Arnold-de Simine , Birkbeck, University of London 10. Allegorical silence: The Plague as a critical literacy act Alexandre Dessingué, University of Stavanger 11. Negotiating Memories and Silences: Museum Narratives of Transatlantic Slavery in England Leanne Munroe, Cambridge University 12. Shell shock, Gallipoli and the generation of silence Jay Winter, Yale University Silence and Social Life: Concluding Remarks Astrid Erll, Frankfurt University