Collective Memory

Module Leader:
Eszter Babarczy
2015-2016 Spring
Immersion 1
Social Sciences

The module examines the most recent theories of collective memory from the perspective of psychology, history and politics. We ask the fundamental questions: How and why does our memory fail or cheat us, and what does it have to do with collective memory? We will look at examples of how collective memory is formed and how it is used to create group identities or political statements – examining famous debates around monuments such as the Holocaust Monument in Berlin and the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, as well as recent Hungarian examples of ’memory wars’, from the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the ’56 revolution to the Monument of the German Occupation. We also conduct research on the emergent online memory communities – with special emphasis on the Facebook group “A holokauszt és a családom”. The module is useful for students who are interested in psychology, history or politics – or simply annoyed and/or intrigued by “memory wars” in Hungary. Most readings are not technical in nature, but among the recommended readings you can find examples of what a much-cited cognitive psychology or history paper look like nowadays.

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