Materializing Memory in Art and Popular Culture: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Materializing Memory in Art and Popular Culture

1st Edition

Edited by Laszlo Muntean, Liedeke Plate, Anneke Smelik


220 pages | 33 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138203235
pub: 2016-12-02
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Memory matters. It matters because memory brings the past into the present, and opens it up to the future. But it also matters literally, because memory is mediated materially. Materiality is the stuff of memory. Meaningful objects that we love (or hate) function not only as aide-mémoire but are integral to memory. Drawing on previous scholarship on the interrelation of memory and materiality, this book applies recent theories of new materialism to explore the material dimension of memory in art and popular culture. The book’s underlying premise is twofold: on the one hand, memory is performed, mediated, and stored through the material world that surrounds us; on the other hand, inanimate objects and things also have agency on their own, which affects practices of memory, as well as forgetting. By accounting for the material world as a medium through which acts of remembering and forgetting take place, the chapters of this book offer new insights on such topics as the study of ruins, the exchange and circulation of souvenirs, digitization and the Internet of Things, fashion and technology, as well as the material dimensions of corporeality and traumatic re-enactment.


"This book arises from authors doing rigorous interdisciplinary work and demonstrates just the kind of Swiss army knife of intellectual tools needed to tackle the problems and puzzles of memory and materiality." --Lindsey A. Freeman, State University of New York-Buffalo State, USA

Table of Contents

Prelude: The Memory Cabinet of Mrs. K. 1960

A poem by Susan Stewart

1. Things to Remember: Introduction to Materializing Memory in Art and Popular Culture

(László Munteán, Liedeke Plate, and Anneke Smelik)

Part I: Material Remains: Ruins and Souvenirs

2. El Helicoide: Modern Ruins and the Urban Imaginary

(Celeste Olalquiaga)

3. Souvenirs and Memory Manipulation in the Roman Empire: The Glass Flasks of Ancient Pozzuoli

(Maggie L. Popkin)

Part II: Entangled Memories

4. How Memory Comes to Matter: From Social Media to the Internet of Things

(Elisa Giaccardi and Liedeke Plate)

5. Memory and Materiality in Hussein Chalayan’s Techno-Fashion

(Lianne Toussaint and Anneke Smelik)

6. Size Matters: Karl Ove Knausgård’s Min Kamp and Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 as (Anti-) Monumental Novels

(Inge van de Ven)

Part III: Reenactment, Affect, and Remembrance

7. Archives of Affect: Performance, Reenactment, and the Becoming of Memory

(Louis van den Hengel)

8. Crystal Tears and Silver Maces: Materializing Memories of the Suffering Mother

(Willy Jansen)

9. The Staging of Memory in Los Rubios by Albertina Carri

(Anna Forné)

Part IV: Corporeality and Objects of Trauma

10.Chilling Burlesque: The Act of Killing

(Aleid Fokkema)

11. Modeling the Memories of Others: David Levinthal’s I.E.D. War in Afghanistan and Iraq 

(László Munteán)

About the Editors

László Munteán is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and American Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His publications have focused on cultural memory in literature and the visual arts, culture, heritage, and photography. He is leader of the research group 'Memory, Materiality, and Meaning in the Age of Transnationalism'.

Liedeke Plate is Associate Professor Gender Studies and Literary and Cultural Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on literature, gender and cultural memory. She is the author of Transforming Memories in Contemporary Women’s Rewriting (2011), and co-editor of, among other, Technologies of Memory in the Arts (2009), Performing Memory in Art and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2013).

Anneke Smelik is Katrien van Munster Professor of Visual Culture at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She has published widely in the field of fashion, cinema, popular culture and cultural memory.Her latest books are Thinking Through Fashion: A Guide to Key Theorists (2016) and Delft Blue to Denim Blue: Contemporary Dutch Fashion (2017).

About the Series

Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies

Cultural and media studies are now well-established as important academic disciplines and are inspiring new research into a wide range of pertinent issues. This series presents outstanding research in these subjects, helping to shape the direction of future inquiry.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies