» Mediated Memories: Cultural Acts of Remembering and Forgetting

In his essay “Plato’s Pharmacy,” the late French philosopher—Jacques Derrida—points to the relationship between memory and writing. As a pharmakon, “writing” has the uncanny effect of both assisting and hindering our ability to recollect the past. As such, it can be considered a particular technology of remembering and forgetting. The logic of the photograph too, while often thought to record reality in some objective manner, operates in a much more complicated manner, simultaneously highlighting and excising certain material reality through framing and other techniques associated with the medium. Much like writing, photography works as a technology that supplements what is already whole.  As a Derridian supplément, both of these technologies of memory work to fortify, but also replace the materiality and empirical historicity of the moment.

This interdisciplinary CRASsH Group will be a sustained and collective exploration into the relationship between techne and episteme, or better put, relations between art/craft and knowledge. We shall pursue answers to the question of how technologies of memory and memorializing (as both an act of remembering and forgetting) are deployed as strategic engagements with experiences of the past.  We will not limit our query to a specific medium such as writing, but instead consider other mediums such as photography, digital reproduction, dance, theater, monuments, museum building, etc.  In short, we are interested in the complex dynamic between the myriad ways personal, collective, cultural, and national identities are forged on the one hand, and the ways in which the past comes to be represented. We will seek to engage “texts,” broadly defined, but also sites of cultural memory, and the ways in which they are both constructed and questioned in the popular imagination(s) of diverse societies.

  • Members
  • Research projects
  • Grants/funding
  • Student research
  • Laura Loustau (WLC, Spanish/Latin American Studies)

    Michael Wood (WLC, Japanese/Asian Studies)

    Allan MacVicar (WLC, French/Francophone Studies)

    Rei Magosaki (English/Asian American Literature)

    Stephanie Takaragawa (Sociology/Museum Studies)

    Rafael Luevano (Religious Studies/Humanities)

    Jared Hammad (WLC, Classics)

    • The inscription of memory through various media
    • The relationship between formal aspects of expression (framing, narrative, etc.) and historical memory
    • The interrogation of memory as a concept. In particular looking at the role of forgetting in the process of remembering or memorializing the past
    • The materiality of memory
    • Individuals will apply for a variety of grants related to their own professional development
  • We intend to seek out and integrate into the group undergraduate students interested in questions of individual and collective memory. Pending resources, we would like to also hire an undergraduate research assistant who would assist with the management of the group and be encouraged to carry out their own research related to cultural memory. The group would nurture the student(s) and assist them in submitting their work for conferences, the BURN poster sessions, public performances, etc.

    • Inviting speakers to campus to engage a larger campus audience
    • Circulate and discuss drafts of articles written by members of the group
    • Read and discuss as a group theoretical articles related to memory and cultural production