1st Edition

Negotiating Memory from the Romans to the Twenty-First Century Damnatio Memoriae

    Manipulation of the past and forced erasure of memories have been global phenomena throughout history, spanning a varied repertoire from the destruction or alteration of architecture, sites, and images, to the banning or imposing of old and new practices. The present volume addresses these questions comparatively across time and geography, and combines a material approach to the study of memory with cross-disciplinary empirical explorations of historical and contemporary cases. This approach positions the volume as a reference-point within several fields of humanities and social sciences. The collection brings together scholars from different fields within humanities and social science to engage with memorialization and damnatio memoriae across disciplines, using examples from their own research. The broad chronological and comparative scope makes the volume relevant for researchers and students of several historical periods and geographic regions.

    Part I: Forgetting and Remembrance  1. The other side of damnatio memoriae: erasing memory to assert loyalty and identity in the Roman Empire  2. Sámi silence visualized: indigenous loss negotiated in contemporary art  3. ‘An island renowned for its worship’. Environmental change, morality, and forgetfulness in the transforming landscapes of Tonga  4. (Memories of) Monuments in the Czech Landscape: Creation, Destruction, and the Affective Stirrings of People and Things  Part II: Cultural Repression and Contestation  5. Creating the memory of an unbroken Davidic dynasty in the Book of Kings in response to political discontinuity  6. The lure of the damned: contemporary, near contemporary, and modern perceptions of the Vikings  7. Christianity and Islam in Ethiopia: religious nationalism and the Muslim ‘other’  8. Societal dismay and ideological disarray: Political reform and social dynamics in Zanzibar Town  Part III: Destruction and Continuity  9. Destructive aesthetics: mutilating portraits in ancient Rome  10. The fetish and its destruction: spiritual control in Africa and Melanesia  11. Landscape of repressed memories: triumphalism and counter-historical narratives in Sri Lanka’s former warzone  12. Negotiating the memory of Palmyra. ISIS image formation at the cost of ancient cultural heritage


    Øivind Fuglerud is a Professor of Social Anthropology at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway.

    Kjersti Larsen is a Professor of Social Anthropology at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway.

    Marina Prusac-Lindhagen is an Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology and Keeper of Antiquities at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway.