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TitleTranscultural mobilities and memories
Other titlesMobilidades e memórias transculturais
Editor(s)Matos, Mário
Paisana, Joanne
Transculttural Studies
Issue dateDec-2023
PublisherEdições Húmus
Abstract(s)The history of research of a relatively systematic nature into cultural memory may be traced back to the neginning of the twentieth century, its transdisciplinary aspect being most striking from that time. This is a vast research area encompassing various epistemological approaches and multiple concepts such as the “collective memory” of the sociologist Maurice Halbwachs, “places of memory” (lieux de mémoire) coined by the historian Pierre Nora, the “spaces of remembrance” (Erinnerungsräume) of the Anglicist Aleida Assmann or the differentiation between “cultural memory” and “communicative memory” put forward by the Egyptologist Jan Assmann. Notwithstanding the diversity, all the aforementioned concepts are premised on the idea that cultural memory may be found within the relatively clear limits of the “social frameworks” (Halbwachs) of a certain nation or territory, or within a certain civilization. Even if we accept, given these concepts of culture as a kind of recipient or container, that cultural memory is something that is formed throughout time and by diverse means until its establishment, it is nevertheless true that the process is not wholly recognized. The notion that culture and cultural (or collective) memory is in no way a sealed entity but is, on the contrary, subject to complex dynamics and multiple contingencies would only appear in what is known today as a third phase of memory studies, namely with the introduction of mobility into the equation. The so-called “mobility turn” of the 1990s implies a change of paradigm in the social sciences and humanities as the world is seen not as a fixed entity, although with some contact zones between certain regions and/or cultures, but as being characterized by great fluidity and constant movement. The importance of studying “mobile worlds” in their diverse dimensions and facets, particularly those related to the formation, mediation and circulation of cultural memory, was identified and embraced by researchers from many academic fields, such as the anthropologist James Clifford (Routes. Travel and Translation in the late Twentieth Century, 1997), of the sociologist John Urry (Mobilities, 2007) or the theorist and literary critic Stephen Greenblatt (Cultural Mobility; A Manifesto,2009). Recognizing that people, objects and ideas are always on the move, the “mobility turn” approach marked a significant change in the way the diverse dimensions of mobility were seen up to that point. With the most recent phase of globalization, the mobility of peoples, objects and ideas occurs on a massive scale reaching a gigantic dimension that is transversal of all regions, peoples and cultures: individual and/or collective work journeys; tourist leisure activities; forced or voluntary migrations for economic, political or social reasons; all of these modes and forms of mobility are ever more (co)determined and impacted by the media and by mobile technologies. The conceptualization of cultural memory, which is increasingly seen as being in perpetual motion, requires a theoretical and methodological approaches due to its ever-present hypermobility (physical and telematic). More recently, this research and consequent acknowledgement of the multiple dynamics inherent in a “memory (…) hat does not stay still, but circulates, migrates, travels” (Bond, Craps, Vermeulen, 2007), has been described in terms of “global memory” or “cosmopolitization of memory” (Beck, Levy, Sznaider, 2009), “multidirectional memory” (Rothberg, 2009), “transcultural memory” (Crownshaw,2011), “travelling memory” (Erll, 2011) or “transnational memory (Cesari and Rigney, 2014). These more recent concepts related to memory allude in a relatively specific manner to what has been called the “transcultural turn” (Bond and Rapson, 2014), a turn that takes mobility and memory as two main pillars of the study of cultural processes in general. By concentrating on the transcultural dimension of mobility within memory studies, we recognize that movement in time and space as well as the multiplicity of worldviews and their representation in diverse arts and media shape cultural memory, while at the same time being shaped by the same. As the reader will see, all the contributions to this book deal precisely with this inextricable relationship between the key concepts of mobility and memory, without which it is impossible to think about culture(s) today.
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Appears in Collections:CEHUM - Livros e Capítulos de Livros

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