Special Issue "Social Memory: The Poetics and Politics of Remembering and Forgetting"
A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2021) | Viewed by 6977
Interests: ecopoetics/ethnoecology; resistance studies; folklore; comparative literature; oral tradition; narrative research; literary nationalism; literary memory; memory research; sacred ecology
Interests: North Indian Literary Culture and History; contemporary literature; popular culture; Hindi-English language; the worldliness of literature
The open access journal Humanities is planning a focused Special Issue on “Social Memory” in accordance with its scope and aims. Memory matters. Memory is story. The long-term communal understanding of the dynamics of a social/cultural change following a crisis and the transmission of pertinent collective experience constitutes what is called “social memory”. In times of a claimed crisis of memory, the need for an interdisciplinary approach to study the poetics and politics of memory as well as its social dynamics, ideological, methodological, and theoretical intersections in humanities and social sciences is crucial. To consider the social memory of relevant and significant events that lays ground for experiential knowledge becomes essential as societies, who once experienced a collective vulnerability, anticipate social or ecological resilience, a return to a normal and effective life condition, and an optimistic and positive move towards recovery from the crisis.
The following are numerous reasons for this Special Issue focused on “Social Memory”:
First, once the coronavirus pandemic is over, or any crisis of that kind for that matter, humanity is destined to live with the living memory of an unbearable pain of loss of family members, grandparents, neighbors, colleagues, and friends both far off and nearby. Once the crisis is over, it is fair to ask, should humanity take for granted this precious life and the priceless gifts of nature: the sunrise, the sunset, the fresh air, the surrounding greenery, or, value it above all, hug it, and show love and care for everyone and everything as if it were the last day on this marvelous planet earth and appreciate the environment it lives in? This social memory, and memory of a crisis of an equal magnitude, is a haunting shared experience for humanity, in general, at the same time around the world, at “local” and “global” levels, which is compelling and worth considering in memory studies.
Second, there are other historical griefs of loss―both human and ecological―that humanity is condemned to re-play and to re-enact in the mind as an uncomfortable experience/memory of guilt or grievance—collective or individual—which is left unsettled for generations to contemplate. Thinking of the war of nations, the assumption that the winners never remember, the losers never forget holds true at least for two reasons: On the one hand, what the losers lost in the war is not just the battle but also their home, their family, their people, their land and land resources, their country, and their freedom and pride. This bitter collective memory, which the loser is unable to forget, is a historical recollection identified with particular memory sites than others. On the other hand, for the winners some memories are simply intolerable, and they choose collective silence or collective forgetfulness, an ideal metaphor for which is “burying the past”. It is appropriate to seek methodological and theoretical means of studying such rival memories/histories and strategies, to juxtapose them at a symbolic level through national literature/s or heritage conservation, which can constitute what one may call memory narratives or literary memory.
The Humanities Special Issue offers a nuanced perception of the theme of social memory in relation to landscape, culture, and ecology as becomes evident in oral, written, and visual accounts of the collective experience of the cultural group. The themed papers in the Special Issue are expected to provide a space for understanding “social memory” by exploring how humans encode experience to respond to a crisis of some kind, to enhance social resilience and minimize collective vulnerability. The Humanities Special Issue will serve as a context to try multiple perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches to allow the understanding of different points of view based on different experiences of social and environmental injustices that humanity suffers.
Contributors are expected from Literature, Folklore, Anthropology, Sociology, Ecology/Environmentalisms, History, Psychology, Resilience Studies, and Memory Studies.
El-Shamy, Hasan M. 1967. Folkloric behavior : a theory for the study of the dynamics of traditional culture. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/8959
Dr. Assefa Tefera Dibaba
Prof. Dr. Francesca Orsini
Prof. Dr. Sadhana Naithani
Manuscript Submission Information
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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- social/collective memory
- literary memory
- memory sites
- social/ecological resilience
- contesting memories/histories
- collective vulnerability
- memory narratives/stories
- remembering and forgetting