The interdisciplinary study of collective memory has been marked by debates over the status of commemorative technologies: literary, visual, temporal, architectural, institutional, and others. Do these technologies compensate for the inability of individuals and collectives to remember “on their own,” or are they fundamental prostheses of remembrance, crucial to the labor of memory? In this seminar, we will pose remembering subjects and technologies of remembrance as mutually-constituting and historically enmeshed phenomena, neither understandable in isolation from the other. The seminar will focus on heritage, monuments and ruins as three “technologies of memory,” at once shaping and shaped by collective projects of historical recall. The seminar will also attempt to critique the moralizing preservationist gaze on memory objects that remains a dominant perspective on those objects, in public culture and scholarship alike; a number of alternative gazes on memory objects will be offered in order to provide you with other approaches to the study of heritage, monuments, ruins, as well as other technologies of memory.
Class Instruction Format: Online