305MC: Memory 2: Mediated Memories

Mediated Memory

  • Memory Work
  • Sites of memory
  • Pastiche & Nostalgia
  • Prosthetic memory
  • The Archive

Examine how media texts help to construct our memories, understanding the concepts introduced.

“Halbwachs suggests that memories are created in response to society”

Memory Work

memorywork [PDF] (Frigga Haug, 1987),

“The premise for memory work or travail de memoire is that history is not memory. We try to represent the past in the present through memory, history and the archives.” – (Picoeur, P 1955)


“Filmmaker Jonathan Caouette’s documentary on growing up with his schizophrenic mother, a mixture of snapshots, Super-8, answering machine messages, video diaries, early short films, and more culled from 19 years of his life.”

“Memory text, as material for interpretation” – (Kuhn, 2000)

“A lieu de mémoire is any significant entity, whether material or non-material in nature, which by dint of human will or the work of time has become a symbolic element of the memorial heritage of any community (in this case, the French community)” It may refer to any place, object or concept vested with historical significance in the popular collective memory, such as a monument, a museum, an event, a symbol like a flag or the French figure Marianne, even a colour vested with historical memory” – (Pierre Nora, 1989)

“Halbwachs defined memory from the perspective of the group as only possible inside frameworks and as manipulated and touched up out of social necessity”

https://becausewearehere.co.uk/ (1418 Now)

“A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions.”

Three Regimes of Memory

  • The ‘Good’ War
  • American Triumphalism
  • Memory of sacrifice

“In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.”


“What this suggests is that the experience within the movie theatre and the memories that the cinema affords, despite the fact that the spectator did not live through them might be as significant in constructing, or deconstructing, the spectator’s identity as any experience that s/he has actually lived through.” – (Landsberg, 2004)

“This new form of memory… emerges at the interface between a person and a historical narrative about the past, at an experiential site such as a movie theater or museum”

(TED Talks: Chris Milk)

“Truth is a thing of this world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint. And it induces regular effects of power.”

“Each society has its regime of truth, its “general politics” of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish true and false statements, the means by which each is sanctioned; the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true” (Foucault, in Rabinow 1991).







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