As a technology able to picture and embody the temporality of the past, cinema has become central to the mediation of memory in modern cultural life. The memory of film scenes and movies screens, cinema and cinema-going, has become integral to the placement and location of film within the cultural imagination of this century and the last. This book is a sustained, interdisciplinary perspective on memory and film from early cinema to the present. The first section examines the relationship between official and popular history and the constitution of memory narratives in and around the production and consumption of American cinema. The second section examines the politics of memory in a series of chapters that take as their focus three pivotal sites of national conflict in postwar America. This includes the war in Vietnam, American race relations and the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of marginality in the geographic and cultural borderlands of the US. The book explores the articulation of Vietnam. The final section concentrates on the issue of mediation; it explores how technological and semiotic shifts in the cultural terrain have influenced the coding and experience of memory in contemporary cinema. It considers both the presence of music and colour in nostalgia films of the 1990s and the impact of digital and video technologies on the representational determinants of mediated memory. The book also examines the stakes of cultural remembering in the United States and the means by which memory has been figured through Hollywood cinema.
The ethics and politics of memory in an age of mass culture
’, even experiential, access to would no longer be
limited to the memories of events through which one actually lived. This
essay will argue that the effects of capitalist commodification and mass
culture are not exclusively privatising and therefore conservative;
these forces have also opened up the potential for a progressive, even
radical politicsofmemory: such a politics instrumentalises what I have
From 1994 onwards, bodies have been at the centre of the politics of memory surrounding the genocide of the Tutsi. As well as constituting evidence in forensic investigations, bodies are on display in the memorials to the genocide. This exhibiting of bodies aims principally to remind visitors of the historical facts of the genocide: the sites of the massacres and the methods used during them. The research carried out by Rwandan institutions with a view to memorialising the genocide is uniformly insistent on the "practices of cruelty" employed during it. Inventories of weapons used during the massacres are accompanied by descriptions of different methods of killing. These methods are also represented in many memorials. This paper will examine how these constructed ideologies of the twentieth century affected the treatment of Tutsis in the Rwandan genocide and the alarming consequences this created for the destruction of dehumanised bodies.
See Alison Landsberg, ‘Prosthetic Memory:
The Logic and PoliticsofMemory in Modern American Culture’
(PhD dissertation, University of Chicago, 1996), p. 13.
See Alison Landsberg, ‘America, the
Holocaust, and the Mass Culture of Memory: Toward a Radical Politics
of Empathy’, New German
, predominant in the public discourse of contemporary Russia and informed by
the politicsofmemory about the Soviet past. One narrative is reflected in
Boris Berlin’s response to my research interests. It depicts Soviet design
as plagiaristic, low-quality, neglectful of the consumer, or altogether
non-existent. It is shared by some former employees of VNIITE who felt
constrained by the bureaucratic structures of these institutions and upset
that so few of their ideas could be implemented. In particular, Soloviev
(who lived a long life until 2013) is remembered within the
/memory, Part II examines the politicsofmemory in a series of
chapters that take as their focus three pivotal sites of national conflict
in postwar America. This includes the war in Vietnam, American race
relations and the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of marginality in
the geographic and cultural borderlands of the US. These sites have
generated hard fought battles of memory within American historical and
the Civil War and twenty-five years after the restoration of democracy that the first exhumation of the Republican
dead could take place (while the bodies of Francoist combatants
and civilians had been honoured much earlier). We must therefore
keep in mind that the timing of exhumation always depends on
the political (and sometimes geopolitical) context, such as the
national politics of amnesty or the local politicsofmemory. This
chronology also depends on unique and complex social contexts
that allow (through the emergence of a consensus) or else prevent
film rather cleverly weaves elements of culture war rhetoric in and
within a media fiction (i.e. the 1950s sitcom) whose myths of family
idealism and harmonious community it contiguously deconstructs. Rather
than a paradigm of narrative confusion, ideological idiocy or
historicist blockage, Pleasantville plays reflexively with
culture war discourse and its constituent politicsofmemory.
The discovery, commemoration and reinterment of eleven Alsatian victims of Nazi terror, 1947– 52
Devlin M. Scofield
tot, davon 11 ermordert, 3 vermisst und nur 11
sind ins Heim zurückgekehrt’, L’Alsace [probably August 1947], StadtA
42 ‘Die sterblichen Überreste der Maquisards wurden gestern nach Thann
überführt’, L’Alsace, 14 November 1947, StadtA Offenburg.
43 For a discussion of the contested politicsofmemory in France following
the Second World War, see G. Namer, La commémoration en France de
1945 à nos jours (Paris: Editions L’Harmattan, 1987), especially ‘La commémoration’, pp. 143–62.
44 Lagrou, The Legacy of Nazi Occupation, p. 2.
45 Ibid., pp. 26
Theatre and Film 36.2 (2009): 7.
45 For in-depth analysis and critique of such processes, see Dolores Hayden,
The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History (Cambridge,
MA: The MIT Press, 1995). See also Grant Kester, The One and the Many:
Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context (Durham, NC: Duke
University Press, 2011).
46 Andreas Huyssen, Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the PoliticsofMemory (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003).
47 Massey, For Space, 110.
48 Jackie Clarke, ‘Closing Moulinex: Thoughts on the Visibility and