The Merits of Memory

Concepts, Contexts, Debates

1. Edition, 2008
404 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-5315-5
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: American Studies – A Monograph Series, Volume No.: 143
Available: 03.02.2009

Keywords: Historie, U.S.A., Erinnerungskultur, Gedächtnisforschung, kollektives Gedächtnis, Gedächtnisdiskurse

Since the publication of Pierre Nora’s landmark anthology 'Lieux de Mémoire' two decades ago, collective memory has become one of the most intensely studied topics across a wide range of academic disciplines. Focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on the United States of America, this volume contributes to the ongoing debate about the complex modes and meanings of communal remembrance past and present. Individual essays revisit and rework Nora’s conceptualization of (post-) modern memory and reexamine the intricate relationship between personal memory, collective memory, and history. Authors discuss communal recollections as a vehicle for cultural recognition and explore the uses and abuses of memory discourses in domestic and international politics.
Other contributions address the role of memory in the context of ethnicity, immigration, and transnationalism, and analyze the representational strategies and cultural implications of visualized and virtualized memories. Combining theoretical approaches with empirical case studies, The 'Merits of Memory' takes stock of the current state of the field and suggests potential trajectories for the future study of collective memory.

Donatella Izzo in: Journal of American Studies, vol. 44 (2010), 213ff

Astrid Böger in: Amerikastudien / American Studies, 54, 3 (2009), 530ff

Michael Taugis in: European Journal of American Studies, 2009 [8], online 27.7.2009, URL:

Martin Zierold in: H-Soz-Kult,

in: Reference and Research Book News, Nov. 2009, 135

in: ZUSAS Occasional Papers, No. 3, 118ff