Collected Debris of Public Memory: Commemorative Genres and the Mediation of the Past

  • Victoria J. Gallagher
  • Jason Kalin


The authors illuminate the rhetorical affordances of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, showing how it offers a complex ground for interrogating both the crisis of representation and the media and mediation of public memory within commemorative sites. In so doing, the authors address issues of (in)authenticity, emotional encounters with the past, and the media and mediation of memory to examine how commemorative sites, as a rhetorical genre, are undergoing a transformation in their social action, marking a shift from the performance of individual empathy to collective responsibility. The authors thus examine the inventional resources for ongoing social action that such a shift might entail, particularly in moving from a forensic or epideictic orientation to a more deliberative commemorative experience.


Collective Responsibility Holocaust Education York Time Article Public Memory Oklahoma City Bombing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria J. Gallagher
    • 1
  • Jason Kalin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NCUSA
  2. 2.Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and DiscourseDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA

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