190 pages | 23 B/W Illus.
This book provides an original, impassioned exploration of memory studies and the uses of the past in the present. It capitalises on London’s global appeal and Big Ben’s iconic status. Moving beyond this familiar facade the reader will journey around the hidden histories of Westminster’s streets, squares and statues. This tangible heritage supports a diversity of contested memories. The rationale for this approach is that, by linking theory with empirical examples, it becomes possible to tackle complex issues in a grounded, accessible manner. Readers will be encouraged to use this case study as a framework for addressing the politics of memory in their own lives as well as in other places, not just in Britain but around the world. This book will be of interest to scholars and students from a wide variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, sociology, culture and media studies, English literature, film and television studies, global studies, heritage studies, history, politics and human geography.
Picture Time Preamble
1. Rock Around the Clock
2. Dead Centre: Big Ben in Fiction, Fixtures and Film
3. Shadow Histories and Forgetful Rememberings
4. Muliebral Memories: From Millicent to Margaret
5. Ding-Dong Bell, The Old Iron Woman is Unwell
6. A Most Abnormal Englishman and a Minute Monument
7. Stop the Clock: Politics and Preservation
8. To End at the Beginning
Memory Studies as an academic field of cultural inquiry emerges at a time when global public debates, buttressed by the fragmentation of nation states and their traditional narratives, have greatly accelerated. Societies are today pregnant with newly unmediated memories, once sequestered in broad collective representations and their ideological stances. But, the ‘past in the present’ has returned with a vengeance in the early 21st Century, and with it an expansion of categories of cultural experience and meaning. This new series explores the social and cultural stakes around forgetting, useful forgetting and remembering, locally, regionally, nationally and globally. It welcomes studies of migrant memory from failed states; micro-histories battling against collective memories; the mnemonic past of emotions; the mnemonic spatiality of sites of memory; and the reconstructive ethics of memory in the face of galloping informationalization, as this renders the ‘mnemonic’ more and more public and publically accessible.