• Uta Staiger
  • Henriette Steiner


To write on memory and the city is to enter into a densely populated scholarly terrain. In the late twentieth century, engagement with memory became what Andreas Huyssen has called a ‘cultural obsession of monumental proportions’,1 and Jay Winter a ‘memory boom’,2 experienced both in academia and in popular culture. The 1990s, in particular, witnessed the rise of this ‘cult of memory’,3 as it turned into a veritable ‘memory industry’ able to play on and exploit the interest in memory. For some, however, this intensified interest has itself been interpreted as a sign of a memory crisis, and many scholars have advised about the concomitant terminological ambiguity, semantic burden and even rhetorical abuse which are also associated with this term.4 In fact, some have raised the question of whether and how in this situation a contemporary practice of ‘remembering well’ may be conceived at all.5 Overall, this epochal commitment to, and interrogation of, the past and its representation in the present can be described as a memory culture.


Collective Memory Urban Life Building Site Urban Fabric Modern City 
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© Uta Staiger, Henriette Steiner and Andrew Webber 2009

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  • Uta Staiger
  • Henriette Steiner

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