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Seminar B: Collective Memory

  • Can memory be collective?
  • How important is forgetting for remembering (and for nations)?
  • Why do – according to Pierre Nora – nations need ‘sites of memory’?
  • Are we facing a ‘crisis of memory’ today?


Essential Reading

Nora, Pierre, ‘Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Memoire’, Representations, 26 (1989), Special Issue: Memory and Counter-Memory, pp. 7-24.

Confino, Alon, ‘Collective Memory and Cultural History: Problems of Method’, American Historical Review, 102 (1997), pp. 1386-1403.

Forty, Adrian, ‘Introduction, in Forty’, Adrian, and Küchler, Susanne (eds), The Art of Forgetting (Oxford/New York, 1999), pp. 1-18.

Winter, Jay, and Sivan, Emmanuel, ‘Setting the Framework’, in Winter, Jay, and Sivan, Emmanuel, War and Remembrance in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 1-39.

Additional Reading

Gedi, Noa, and Elam, Yigal, ‘Collective Memory – what is it?’, History and Memory, 8 (1996), pp. 30-50.

Klein, Kerwin Lee, ‘On the Emergence of Memory in Historical Discourse’, Representations, 69 (2000), pp. 127-150.

Winter, Jay, ‘The Generation of Memory: Reflections on the ‘Memory Boom’ in Contemporary Historical Studies’, German Historical Institute Bulletin [London], 27 (2000).


Maurice Halbwachs, 1877-1945