Memory and Diverse Belongings NUBS 1.13
Jul 04, 2023 15:45 - 17:15(Europe/London)
20230704T1545 20230704T1715 Europe/London 2.1. Reframing memory NUBS 1.13 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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Of paradoxes and pitfalls, or: does the post-migrant society need a collective memory?
Individual paperMovement, Migration and Refugees 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/03 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/04 22:00:00 UTC
Keywords: Germany, Citizenship, Post-migration, Holocaust, Collective Memory, ContradictionHistorical references have become part and parcel of modern political and public discourse while today's ever-changing postmigrant societies pose new challenges to long-standing mnemonic practices, as has been vividly discussed in Germany over the past years. Since 2017, claims that newly arriving migrants should be educated in Holocaust history became louder, recently culminating in a revised curriculum for the mandatory integration courses. In our paper we will show how, based on the assumption that Holocaust remembrance can convey values of German society, this new curriculum aims at historical literacy for the purpose of igniting a sense of responsibility for society amongst the newcomers.Yet, so we will argue, the same memory politics also risk to exclude people from the "national culture" by neglecting responses to Holocaust history that might look different to the ones expected by mainstream society. By drawing from ongoing ethnographic research into different memory-educational programs for refugees in Germany, we seek to illustrate how paradoxes of plural democracy are negotiated on the basis of mnemonic practices and the construction of a collective memory more generally. Our aim is to shift the focus of current debates on German memory politics to the contradictions that underly some of the claims about its collective memory, especially the idea that a shared memory will create harmony amid a diverse society shaped by a multitude of memories. This way, the paper addresses the overarching topic of the conference in general and fits the stream on "Memory and Diverse Belonging" as well as "Movement, Migration and Refugees" identified in the conference call.
Presenters
KA
Katrin Antweiler
Dr, University Of Bremen
RJ
Rosa Jung
University Of Bremen
Appropriating the past, creating belonging and moving beyond banal nationalism in the German history classroom.
Individual paperMemory and Diverse Belongings 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/03 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/04 22:00:00 UTC
Drawing on different usages of the concept of appropriation in media studies, anthropology and education, I will present findings and insights from a couple of ethnographic projects in the course of which I have explored how teachers and students with different generational belongings, diverse cultural backgrounds and media repertoires negotiate the meaning of the past. Accordingly, I will not approach the history classroom as a place of learning, but rather as a socially, culturally and politically embedded space in which we can observe how actors regularly interacting with each other and thus forming communities of practice appropriate pasts as well as narratives about pasts circulating in educational media. 
In analyzing the data, which I collected by resorting to a wide range of methods from videotaped observation to different types of interviews, I am guided by the follow-the-thread method and focus on two aspects. First, I ask who articulates which aspects of the pasts negotiated in the classroom as relevant in recourse to which interpretations and narrative framings. Second, with a view to selected rich points (Michael Agar), I examine what happens when narratives based on different selections and interpretations meet. 
As a result, I formulate two observations that, in my view, are symptomatic for the memory constellations in which we live. First, regardless of the fact that communication in schools is actually programmed to function smoothly, we see quite a lot of misunderstandings and communication breakdowns occurring in the classroom. Apparently, there is no longer a repertoire of cultural self-evident facts and criteria of relevance that teachers and students  could fall back on in their approaches to manifold and ambiguous pasts. Second, it is precisely in such situations of talking past each other that we see students and teachers taking refuge to a vague and diffuse nationalism, which clearly goes beyond what Michael Billig has described as banal nationalism. Especially in moments of impending communication failure, nationalism and the evocation of a vague sense of national belonging seem to function as communicative stabilizers. 
Presenters
BC
Barbara Christophe
Dr, Leibniz Institute For Educational Media, Georg-Eckert-Institute
Cosmopolitan Memory and Displacement: World War One Beyond the Nation-State
Individual paperMemory and Diverse Belongings 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/03 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/04 22:00:00 UTC
The study of cosmopolitan memory is often related to its formation after the Holocaust (Levy and Sznaider [2002], [2011]; Beck [2002], [2006]); I challenge this formulation by considering another global conflict-that of World War One-through the framework of cosmopolitan memory.  I argue that cosmopolitan memory exists just as much in earlier forms of expression such as the novel, letters and stories as in present-day forms of expression. Levy and Sznaider define cosmopolitan memory as how "[n]ational and ethnic memories are transformed in the age of globalization rather than erased. They continue to exist, of course, but globalization processes also imply that different national memories are subjected to a common patterning" (89). I argue that this "common patterning" is also present in the World War One literature. I consider the collective sepoy and soldier consciousness by theorizing the universality of their experience represented in World War One literature. In this paper, I locate the displacement of self in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and Mulk Raj Anand's Across the Black Waters (1940) and argue for the transnationality of World War One by bringing together the British soldier experience with the subaltern sepoy experience. I provide a reading of the figures of Lalu and Septimus to theorize the universality of their experience and bring forth the transnationality of World War One. More specifically, I argue that the similarity of experience between Lalu and Septimus can be read collaboratively. By doing so, I show that the memory of World War One transcends boundaries and exists beyond nation-states.
Presenters
AA
Anvita Agrawal
PhD Student, Newcastle University
University of Bremen
Dr
,
University of Bremen
Dr
,
Leibniz Institute for Educational Media, Georg-Eckert-Institute
PhD Student
,
Newcastle University
Spitzer Professor International Relations
,
City College of New York
Lecturer
,
Fukuyama City University
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