Education PYPA 2009 Courses Memory: Remembering and Forgetting

Newsletter


Please enter your email

Essays

Which Way to Peace?

Dubravka Kalac Zadar, Croatia >Sometimes, when I walk the streets of my city, late in the evening, when there's only silence present, pictures of  not so distant past strike me, and I...

Read more

Before the Rain or Before the War

Daniela Antonovska (Skopje, Macedonia)Course; Gender, sexuality and violent conflict Before the Rain or Before the War  Introduction The films’ script was written by Milcho Manchevski in 1991 after a visit to his birth...

Read more

 

mim_logo

Memory: Remembering and Forgetting

Memory: Remembering and Forgetting

Course facilitators:
Stef Jansen
Alenka Bartulovic

Through discussions, readings, lectures, films, individual and group exercises, and mini-expeditions in the city of Sarajevo, this course aims to provide students with an insight in some ways in which the social sciences help us understand the topic of memory, as well as with a forum to discuss what role remembering and forgetting may play with regard to different forms of violence and their alternatives.

 

The starting point will be straightforwardly anthropological: leaving aside neurological or psychoanalytical approaches, we will consider memory—in its modalities of both remembering and forgetting—as a social practice. Firstly, saying that memory is a practice means we will approach it not as something people have, but as something they do: we will speak of ‘memory work’ and trace a series of ways in which human beings engage in acts of remembering and forgetting. Secondly, if we understand that practice as social, this means that we are interested in how people collectively engage in such acts through a variety of social institutions. Related to this, as anthropologists, we are also keen to try to draw lessons from comparison. So while also relying on some examples from the post-Yugoslav states, we will embed those in studies of memory work in different social institutions amongst different people in different continents of the world. In the latter case, since both of us work in the post-Yugoslav context, we then plan to relate those patterns from around the globe to the students’ specific regional interests in the discussions and in the exercises.

In addition to a broad introduction to the social study of memory, the course will be organised around a set of themes. Precise decisions will need to be made on the basis of available materials and in the context of the actual organisation of the exercises (it is our intention to include some small group projects that will relate the course directly to its setting in Sarajevo, where both of us have research experience). We expect to make a selection out of the following: nationalism and ‘the invention of tradition’; monumental remembering and sites of memory; ceremonies and memorialisation; memory work in art; cities, landscapes and the politics of amnesia; history text books; bodies, objects and family histories; postsocialist nostalgia; violence and memory; refuge and memory; remembering and forgetting in the question of reconciliation.