Katherine Grenier and Amanda Mushal

Oct 19, 2020

Cultures of Memory in the Nineteenth Century

Consuming Commemoration

Palgrave Macmillan 2020

Cultures of Memory in the Nineteenth Century: Consuming Commemoration (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) explores commemorative practices as they developed in the nineteenth century. The editors of the volume, Katherine Grenier and Amanda Mushal, and its contributors invite the readers to consider memorial practices as insights into the culture of both the public and the private. Through a number of investigations that range from the explorations of music to the study of photographs, the volume emphasizes the interplay of the individual and the society on a larger scale. On the one hand, commemorative practices zero in on the individual: remembering loved ones; honoring friends and acquaintances; celebrating the accomplishments of others, as well as forgetting some events while selecting others to construct family and community stories. On the other hand, however, memorial practices almost always surpass the realm of the private. The volume demonstrates how individual instances of commemorative practices contribute to the formation of the public/national/international paradigms of collective and cultural memory. Moreover, Cultures of Memory in the Nineteenth Century: Consuming Commemoration demonstrates the continuity of commemorative practices which were to some extent incepted and developed in the nineteenth century: in spite of the new technologies which this way or another shape the way we remember and forget, the commemorative consumption of the present day reflects the rudiments of the previous centuries. This memorial continuity is an essential factor in how to manage the inherent discontinuity of remembering and forgetting.

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Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD student in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures.

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