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Recognized as one of the most influential studies of memory in the late twentieth century, Pierre Nora's monumental project Les Lieux de Memoire has been celebrated for its elaboration of a ground-breaking paradigm for rethinking the relationship between the nation, territory, history and memory. It has also, however, been criticized for implying a narrow perception of national memory from which the legacy of colonialism was excluded. Driven by an increasingly critical postcolonial discourse on French historiography and fuelled by the will to acknowledge the relevance of the colonial in the making of modern and contemporary France, the present volume intends to address in a collective and sustained manner this critical gap by postcolonializing the French Republic's lieux de memoire. The various chapters discern and explore an initial repertoire of realms and sites in France and the so-called Outremer that crystalize traces of colonial memory, while highlighting its inherent dialectical relationship with firmly instituted national memory. By making visible the invisible thread that links the colonial to various manifestations of French heritage, the objective is to bring to the fore the need to anchor the colonial in a collective memory that has often silenced it, and to foster new readings of the past as it is represented, remembered and inscribed in the nation's collective imaginary.
This book is about memory--about how the past persists into the present, and about how this persistence has been understood over the past two centuries. Since the French Revolution, memory has been the source of an intense disquiet. Fundamental cultural theories have sought to understand it, and have striven to represent its stresses.
Theories of Memory provides a comprehensive introduction to the rapidly expanding field of memory studies. It is a resource through which students will be able both to broaden their knowledge of contemporary theoretical perspectives and trace the development of ideas about memory from the classical period to the present. The Reader is organised into three parts: *Part I, Beginnings, is historical in scope. Its three sections, Classical and Early Modern Ideas of Memory; Enlightenment and Romantic Memory, and Memory and Late Modernity lay out the key psychological, rhetorical, and cultural concepts of memory in the work of a range of thinkers from Plato to Walter Benjamin. *Part II, Positionings, identifies three major perspectives through which memory has been defined and debated more recently: Collective Memory; Jewish Memory Discourse; and Trauma. *Part III, Identities, examines the key role of memory in contemporary constructions of identity under the headings Gender; Race/Nation; and Diaspora. The general introduction sets out the significance of the field of memory studies while the accessible introductions to the nine sections also include suggestions for further reading in the area.
Two relevant studies only available as print copies at USC Libraries
Call Number: Doheny Memorial Library: PQ307.I54 A63 2009
Publication Date: 2009-10-28
Memory has always been crucial to French literature and culture as a means of mediating the relationship between perception and knowledge of the individual coming to terms with his identity in time. Relatively recently, memory has also emerged as the key force in the creation of a collective consciousness in the wider perspective of French cultural history. This collection of essays, selected from the proceedings of a seminar on 'Memory' given by Dr Emma Wilson at the University of Cambridge, offers a fresh evaluation of memory as both a cultural and an individual phenomenon in modern and contemporary French culture, including literature, cinema and the visual arts. 'Anamnesia', the book's title, develops the Aristotelian concept of anamnesis: recollection as a dynamic and creative process, which includes forgetting as much as remembering, concealment as much as imagination. Memory in this extremely diverse range of essays is therefore far from being presented as a straightforward process of recalling the past, but emerges as the site of research and renegotiation, of contradictions and even aporia.
Papers presented at a conference held on December 1-4, 2010, in Paris and Louvain-la-Neuve, France. "Cet ouvrage reprend deux questions sur les mémoires, dont l’idée est bien établie dans notre imaginaire culturel. Y a-t-il une continuité historique et une unité pensable de ce que nous appelons mémoires, qui pourrait se cristalliser dans la notion de « genre » ? Peut-on dégager un cadre théorique pour penser ce corpus multiforme et presque insaisissable et, en particulier, envisager dans une perspective théorique ses relations à la fois fascinantes et problématiques avec la littérature, la fiction ou l’histoire?"
This collection of essays investigates the fundamental role that the loss of colonial territories at the end of the Ancient Regime and post-World War II has played in shaping French memories and colonial discourses. In identifying loss and nostalgia as key tropes in cultural representations, these essays call for a re-evaluation of French colonialism as a discourse informed not just by narratives of conquest, but equally by its histories of defeat.
Freedom Time reconsiders decolonization from the perspectives of Aimé Césaire (Martinique) and Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal) who, beginning in 1945, promoted self-determination without state sovereignty (…) Refusing to reduce colonial emancipation to national independence, they regarded decolonization as an opportunity to remake the world, reconcile peoples, and realize humanity's potential. Emphasizing the link between politics and aesthetics, Gary Wilder reads Césaire and Senghor as pragmatic utopians, situated humanists, and concrete cosmopolitans whose postwar insights can illuminate current debates about self-management, postnational politics, and planetary solidarity.
France's Colonial Legacies offers a timely intervention in the debates around the French empire and its place in the life of the contemporary nation, drawing on the expertise of researchers working in the fields of politics, media, cultural studies, literature and film, to offer a wide-ranging picture of remembrance in contemporary France.
When people experience a traumatic event, such as war or the threat of annihilation, they often turn to history for stories that promise a positive outcome to their suffering. During World War II, the French took comfort in the story of Joan of Arc and her heroic efforts to rid France of foreign occupation. To bring the Joan narrative more into line with current circumstances, however, popular retellings modified the original story so that what people believed took place in the past was often quite different from what actually occurred. Paul A. Cohen identifies this interplay between story and history as a worldwide phenomenon, found in countries of radically different cultural, religious, and social character. He focuses here on Serbia, Israel, China, France, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, all of which experienced severe crises in the twentieth century and, in response, appropriated age-old historical narratives that resonated with what was happening in the present to serve a unifying, restorative purpose. A central theme in the book is the distinction between popular memory and history. Although vitally important to historians, this distinction is routinely blurred in people's minds, and the historian's truth often cannot compete with the power of a compelling story from the past, even when it has been seriously distorted by myth or political manipulation. Cohen concludes by suggesting that the patterns of interaction he probes, given their near universality, may well be rooted in certain human propensities that transcend cultural difference.
A major contribution to the study of collective identity and memory in France, this book examines a French republican myth: the belief that the nation can be adequately defended only by its own citizens, in the manner of the French revolutionaries of 1793. Alan Forrest examines the image of the citizen army reflected in political speeches, school textbooks, art and literature across the nineteenth century. He reveals that the image appealed to notions of equality and social justice, and with time it expanded to incorporate Napoleon's victorious legions, the partisans who repelled the German invader in 1814 and the people of Paris who rose in arms to defend the Republic in 1870. More recently it has risked being marginalized by military technology and by the realities of colonial warfare, but its influence can still be seen in the propaganda of the Great War and of the French Resistance under Vichy.
Publication Date: Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, c2010.
Memory and the Moving Image:
• Introduces new ways of thinking about the relation between film and memory, arising from a compelling, interdisciplinary study of theories and films
• Subtly explores the French context while drawing theoretical conclusions with wider implications and applicability
• Provides detailed and illuminating close readings of varied moving image works to aid theoretical explorations
• Moves away from auteurist approaches, examining work by canonical directors including Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker and Agnès Varda alongside that of less well-known filmmakers such as Claire Simon and Yamina Benguigui
• Brings together thinkers such as Bergson, Deleuze, Bazin and Barthes with, for example, Rodowick and Mulvey, in an engaging interweaving of theories.
Works considered include Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du Cinéma (1989-98), Yamina Benguigui's Mémoires d'Immigrés (1997), Chris Marker's CD-ROM Immemory (1998), Claire Simon's Mimi (2003), Michael Haneke's Caché (2005) and Agnès Varda's multi-media exhibition, L'Île et Elle (2006).
Past Forward traces the development and ascension of the French heritage film--those historical and costume dramas focusing on prestigious French subjects, events, and settings. These motion pictures, preeminent during a period of globalization and fear over the affects of immigration in 1980s France, quickly came to embody a specific version of French national and collective identity: one that idealized the past, condemned the present, and created an institutional form of memory. Oscherwitz presents the intriguing notion that French heritage films are not exclusively expressions of nationalism and nostalgia as has commonly been asserted. On the contrary, although these movies were born out of a perceived loss of French culture, their ambivalence toward traditional hallmarks of nationalism opens them up to new interpretation. Also in contrast to typical conceptions, the author suggests that these heritage films are far from cinematic bastions of multicultural backlash; instead, she argues, popular culture has in its own fashion reinserted the history of colonialism and immigration into the national past, thus reimagining heritage itself. Against this backdrop, Oscherwitz goes on to investigate the multicultural worlds of beur and banlieue movies--cinema seemingly in direct contrast with the heritage film--offering the theory that these films serve as a "countermemory" to an institutionalized one and provide alternative models of collective memory and identity. Through careful analysis of several examples, Oscherwitz demonstrates how these two seemingly different realms--heritage and multicultural cinema--are far from mutually exclusive in the construction of French identity. Throughout the volume, numerous well-known French movies are reexamined, inviting new interpretations of and challenging old views through investigations of familiar cinematic works.