Memory is one of the most important ways in which we construct individual and collective identies. Memory constantly surrounds us as in literarture, films, historical accounts, psychologists' talk, or everyday conversations. At the same time, memory has become a culturally contested praxis in the context of 20th century identity politics inside and outside the academy.
This book offers a comprehensive exploration of the discoursive construction of memory and seeks to explore the cultural work performed by these constructions. Approaching the juncture of memory and identity from an interdisciplinary and global and drawing on S. Hall's assertion that culture and identity are irrevocably intertwined through memory, the essays collected here provide informed readings on a variety of topics and contexts. In their opening remarks. the editors establish a context in which the interrelationships between culture, identity and memory are played off against the problematics of loss of and reinvention of "self" in a globalized and yet localized world.
In this collection which brings together work by young American Studies scholars from various European contexts and disciplinary fields, the reader will find contributions located in cultural and literary studies, the visual arts, philosophy, and history. In its interdisciplinary and international orientation this book is a showcase of the important work done by the current generation of Americanists in Europe.
Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Kunow is Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Potsdam and President of the German Association for American Studies. Prof. Dr. Wilfried Raussert is Professor for American Literature and Culture and Co-Director of Inter- American Studies at the University of Bielefeld.