Vectors of Memory: Legacies of Trauma in Postwar Europe

Overview

The topic of memory has moved to prominence in recent years. This is partly due to a spate of anniversaries and commemorations of events, such as the Holocaust and the Second World War, whose significance for the present is affirmed even as their meanings continue to be debated.

In Germany and France, contested memories, representations, and commemorations of this period have become a defining feature of the political culture. Equally contested are France's memories of a ...

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Overview

The topic of memory has moved to prominence in recent years. This is partly due to a spate of anniversaries and commemorations of events, such as the Holocaust and the Second World War, whose significance for the present is affirmed even as their meanings continue to be debated.

In Germany and France, contested memories, representations, and commemorations of this period have become a defining feature of the political culture. Equally contested are France's memories of a decolonization process whose legacy still makes its presence felt in the political landscape.

Vectors of Memory examines in detail a range of conduits of memorial activity: historiography, war crimes trials, novels, and films that have focused public attention and debate in this era of so-called "commemorative obsession." More than a descriptive summary of such developments, the author elucidates the identity politics expressed through these channels. In the course of these investigations, concepts such as sites of memory, testimony, and trauma-much invoked in recent work on collective memory-are critically examined in a number of historical, juridical and representational contexts.

Interdisciplinary in its scope and in the manner in which it bridges historiographical and cultural analysis, this book will appeal to students and scholars of history, cultural and media studies, French and German political culture, Holocaust studies, and postcolonialism.

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Editorial Reviews

Histoire Sociale Social History
A valuable interdisciplinary addition to the ever-expanding literature on European memor.
From the Publisher
"A rich scholarly study, efficiently footnoted, accompanied by four appropriate illustrations, and well indexed." —Choice

"The essays are often interesting, notably in her comparison of the historiographical methods of the historians of the Jewish massacres, Christopher Browning and Daniel Goldhagen, in relation to the reception of their works and her essay on the role of memory in retributive justice meted out in French trials." —TLS

"A significant insight into the dilemmas and contradictions of coming to terms with an unbearable past." —American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859732946
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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