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© 2020

Beyond Memory

Can We Really Learn From the Past?

Book

Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies book series (PMMS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Sarah Gensburger, Sandrine Lefranc
    Pages 1-9
  3. Sarah Gensburger, Sandrine Lefranc
    Pages 11-46
  4. Sarah Gensburger, Sandrine Lefranc
    Pages 47-80
  5. Sarah Gensburger, Sandrine Lefranc
    Pages 81-112
  6. Sarah Gensburger, Sandrine Lefranc
    Pages 113-121
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 123-128

About this book

Introduction

This book provides a fresh perspective on the familiar belief that memory policies are successful in building peaceful societies. Whether in a stable democracy or in the wake of a violent political conflict, this book argues that memory policies are unhelpful in preventing hate, genocide, and mass crimes. Since the 1990s, transmitting the memory of violent pasts has been utilised in attempts to foster tolerance and fight racism, hate and antisemitism. However, countries that invested in memory policies have overseen the rise of hate crimes and populisms instead of growing social cohesion. Breaking with the usual moralistic position, this book takes stock of this situation. Where do these memory policies come from? Whom do they serve? Can we make them more effective? In other words, can we really learn from the past? At a time when memory studies is blooming, this book questions the normative belief in the effects of memory.

Keywords

Memory Policies Populism Fascism Intolerance Cultural Memory

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.French National Centre for Scientific ResearchISP, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La DéfenseParisFrance
  2. 2.French National Centre for Scientific ResearchISP, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La DéfenseParisFrance

About the authors

Sarah Gensburger is a Senior Researcher in Social Sciences at the French National Center for Scientific Research, France. Her work focuses on public policies of memory and social appropriations of the past in Western democracies.

Sandrine Lefranc is a Senior Researcher in Social Sciences at the French National Center for Scientific Research, France. Her work focuses on post-conflict societies and transitional justice. 


Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Beyond Memory
  • Book Subtitle Can We Really Learn From the Past?
  • Authors Sarah Gensburger
    Sandrine Lefranc
  • Series Title Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies
  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34202-9
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-34201-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-34204-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-34202-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VII, 128
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Media and Communication
    Memory Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site

Reviews

“Beyond Memory is a must read for all memory scholars and memory activists! It explains why civic education through negative memory has not worked and offers a surprising solution: self-reflexive moral action is most likely to develop in social settings which enable individuals and groups to think and act against the grain of hegemonic culture, including hegemonic cosmopolitan memory.” (Wulf Kansteiner, Aarhus University, Denmark)

“In this timely and powerful book, Sarah Gensburger and Sandrine Lefranc challenge the basic assumptions that ground the proliferation of memory policies around the world. Through a comparative framework that draws on multiple international examples and through incisive observations, the authors force us to rethink the supposed power of memory projects and, in so doing, this book raises profound questions about how societies and individuals learn from violent pasts.” (Scott Straus, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.)

“Crossing disciplines and continents, Gensburger and Lefranc’s timely book provides an original contribution to the field of memory studies in an innovative, expert and professional style.” (Jordi Guixé, Director of the European Observatory on Memories, University of Barcelona, Spain)