Forms and Functions of Memory

  • Aleida Assmann

    Professoressa di Anglistica e Teoria della letteratura - Universität Konstanz

  • da lunedì 29 marzo 2004 a venerdì 02 aprile 2004
Scuola Alti Studi

Programma del corso

1. Memory as a leading concept for cultural studies


• What is the background of the memory discourse and the ongoing memory boom?

• Memory research as an interdisciplinary project.
• Distinguishing different ‘memory systems’ (episodic, semantic, procedural).

2. Interdependence between individual and social memory

• According to the French patron of the memory discourse, Maurice Halbwachs, there is no purely individual memory, a statement which is of course contested by writers such as Proust.
• The difference between visual and verbal memory, as well as between internalized or embodied and externalized or disembodied forms of memory (writing, photography, film, video).

3. Political memory

• Uses and abuses of the past by top-down forms of monumentalization and commemoration.
• The relationship between memory and historical discourse.

4. Cultural Memory

• Various memory systems on the cultural level: active and archival memory.
• Canonization as a cultural practice and its contestations in a post-colonial and globalizing world.
• Cultural memory in mass media society.

5. Trauma, Literature and the Ethics of Memory

• Theory of trauma, traumatic sites, intergenerational transfer of trauma, forms of trauma in literature, problem of the ethics of memory.

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