History, Memory and Public Life: The Past in the Present, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

History, Memory and Public Life

The Past in the Present, 1st Edition

Edited by Anna Maerker, Simon Sleight, Adam Sutcliffe


326 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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History, Memory and Public Life introduces readers to key themes in the study of historical memory and its significance by considering the role of historical expertise and understanding in contemporary public reflection on the past.

Divided into two parts, the book addresses both the theoretical and applied aspects of historical memory studies. ‘Approaches to history and memory‘ introduces key methodological and theoretical issues within the field, such as postcolonialism, sites of memory, myths of national origins, and questions raised by memorialisation and museum presentation. ‘Difficult pasts‘ looks at history and memory in practice through a range of case studies on contested, complex or traumatic memories, including the Northern Ireland Troubles, post-apartheid South Africa and the Holocaust.

Examining the intersection between history and memory from a wide range of perspectives, and supported by guidance on further reading and online resources, this book is ideal for students of history as well as those working within the broad interdisciplinary field of memory studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Memory, Public Life and the Work of the Historian Adam Sutcliffe, Anna Maerker and Simon Sleight Part I: Approaches to History and Memory 1: Historical Scholarship and Public Memory in Britain: A Case of Oil and Water? John Tosh 2: Challenge or Opportunity? Postcolonialism and the Historian Toby Green 3: Sites of Memory Keir Reeves 4: Race, Migration and National Origins Peter Heather 5: Mobility, Migration and Modern Memory Eureka Henrich 6: Memory and the City Simon Sleight 7: Hagiography and Biography: Narratives of ‘Great Men of Science’ Anna Maerker Part II: Difficult Pasts 8: Remembering Anzac: Australia and World War I Frank Bongiorno 9: Dealing with the Past: History, Memory and the Northern Ireland Troubles Ian McBride 10: Truth and Reconciliation in Post-Apartheid South Africa Tom Lodge 11: History and Memory in the American South W. Fitzhugh Brundage 12: The Politics of Holocaust Memory Adam Sutcliffe 13: LGBT Histories and the Politics of Identity Laura Gowing

About the Editors

Anna Maerker is Senior Lecturer in History of Medicine at King’s College London. Her work on the material culture of medicine and science and on the history of expertise includes Model Experts: Wax Anatomies and Enlightenment in Florence and Vienna, 1775–1815 (2011).

Simon Sleight is Senior Lecturer in Australian History at King’s College London. His research interests include urban life in the past and the evolution of youth cultures. Recent publications include the co-edited collection Children, Childhood and Youth in the British World (2016).

Adam Sutcliffe is Reader in European History at King’s College London. He is the author of Judaism and Enlightenment (2003), and the co-editor, most recently, of Philosemitism in History (2011) and The Cambridge History of Judaism, Volume 7: The Early Modern World, 1500–1815 (2018).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Historiography
HISTORY / Modern / General
HISTORY / Holocaust
HISTORY / Social History