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.
Table of Contents
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
Gerd Sebald is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. His research is in the area of social memories and the sociology of knowledge. He has recently published Generalisierung und Sinn: Überlegungen zur Formierung sozialer Gedächtnisse und des Sozialen [Generalizations and Meaning: Considerations on the Formation of Social Memories and of the Social] (2014).
Jatin Wagle is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Osnabrück in Germany. His doctoral research is on the translatability of T. W. Adorno, and his publications are in the area of Critical Theory.