1st Edition

Future Memory Practices Across Institutions, Communities, and Modalities

Edited By Gertraud Koch, Rachel Charlotte Smith Copyright 2025
    248 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Future Memory Work addresses a crucial challenge in contemporary pluralistic societies: the organisation of open, participatory and socially inclusive memory practices in digital media ecologies. It brings a novel relational approach to future memory work across institutions, people, and modalities.

    Advancing inter- and transdisciplinary research and rich empirical cases from across Europe and beyond, the book examines how memory practices in digital media are open for engagement of people with diverse backgrounds. It analyses the modalities of memory making and how they can enable institutional and public memory making with a broad spectrum of people and groups in civil society at local, translocal, national and global levels. The chapters examine the mediatized character of memory making, whilst also critically considering what obstacles and potentials emerge from participatory memory work. As a whole, the book is a comprehensive source of knowledge and ideas for creating socially inclusive, sustainable memory practices and futures. It sets the multidisciplinary research agenda for advancing studies of heritage in contemporary digital media as an element and a driver of cultural and social change.

    Future Memory Work is essential reading for academics, students and professionals working in the fields of Anthropology, Museum Studies, Digital Cultural Heritage, Memory Studies, Cultural Studies and Design.

    1. Future Memory Work: A relational approach to social inclusion in digitalised media ecologies

    Gertraud Koch, Rachel Charlotte Smith

    Part I: Memory institutions

    2. Shifting from ‘inside-out’ to ‘outside in’: Envisioning ways of structurally integrating participatory principles in museums

    Susanne Boersma, Cassandra Kist, Franziska Mucha, Inge Zwart and Maria Economou

    3. Situating participation in the backstage: Infrastructural settings impacting museum work

    Quoc-Tan Tran

    4. Ethical practices in participatory memory work - Examples from the Museum Europäischer Kulturen in Berlin

    Susanne Boersma and Elisabeth Tietmeyer

    Part II: People and groups

    5. Pluriversal Futures: Design Anthropology for Contested Memory Making at the Margins

    Rachel Charlotte Smith, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Asnath Kambunga

    6. Conducting Bereavement Interviews: Methodological Reflections on Talking About Death, Grief, and Memory

    Lorenz Widmaier and Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

    Part : Memory modalities

    7. Memory modalities: explorations into the socio-material arrangements of the past at the present for the future

    Jennifer Krueckeberg, Quoc-Tan Tran, Dydimus Zengenene, Angeliki Tzouganatou, Isto Huvila and Gertraud Koch

    8. Memory loss: Youth and the fragility of personal digital remembering

    Jennifer Krueckeberg

    Part IV: Tools and Approaches for Future Memory Work

    9. Towards a relational approach to social impact measurement of Participatory Memory Work: New concepts for future memory work

    Samantha Lutz, Nils Geib, Peter Schubert, Gertraud Koch

    10. Towards a toolbox for future envisioning memory practices

    Quoc-Tan Tran, Susanne Boersma, Anne S. Chahine, Cassandra Kist, Elina Moraitopoulou, Franziska Mucha, Angeliki Tzouganatou, Lorenz Widmaier, Inge Zwart, Asnath Paula Kambunga and Isto Huvila

    11. Epilogue: Future Memory Work

    Ton Otto


    Gertraud Koch is Professor of Anthropological Studies in Culture and History at the University of Hamburg. Her research focus is on digital anthropology, cultural heritage and memory making, anthropology of work, and digital methods.

    Rachel Charlotte Smith is Associate Professor of Human-Centred Design at Aarhus University. Her research focus is on digital and sustainable transformations, future heritage and memory making, through design anthropology and participatory design.