Public debates over the last two decades about social memories, about how as societies we remember, make sense of, and even imagine and invent, our collective pasts suggest that grand narratives have been abandoned for numerous little stories that contest the unified visions of the past. But, while focusing on the diversity of social remembering, these fragmentary accounts have also revealed the fault-lines within the theoretical terrain of memory studies. This critical anthology seeks to bridge these rifts and breaks within the contemporary theoretical landscape by addressing the pressing issues of social differentiation and forgetting as also the relatively unexplored futuristic aspect of social memories. Arranged in four thematic sections which focus on the concepts, temporalities, functions and contexts of social memories, this book includes essays that range across disciplines and present a variety of theoretical approaches, from phenomenological sociology and systems theory to biography research and post-colonialism.
Theorizing Social Memories: An introduction, Gerd Sebald & Jatin Wagle Part I: Concepts 1. Life World and Trauma. Selectivity of Social Memories, Ilja Srubar 2. The Social Construction of Individual and Collective Memory, Gabriele Rosenthal 3. The Forms of the Past: Temporalities, types and memories, Gerd Sebald Part II: Temporalities 4. Bringing the Future Back in: Temporal registers and the media, Daniel Levy 5. On the Significance of the Past for Present and Future Action, Christian Gudehus 6. The Heterogeneous Time of the Postcolonial: Inverted memories of Hitler in India, Jatin Wagle Part III: Functions 7. Memory as a Means of Social Integration, Nina Leonhard 8. Social Memory and the Politics of Remembering, Matthias Berek 9. Exploring the Dark Side of Social Memory: Towards a social theory of forgetting, Oliver Dimbat & Peter Wehling Part IV: Contexts 10. The Forms of Web-Memory, Elena Esposito 11. What is the Context of Memory?, Kobi Kabalek 12. Doing Social Memories: Gendered constructions of refugee narratives, Radhika Natarajan