Social Aspects of Memory & the Formation of Collective Memories
Whether a group is small or large, a group will share memories of its past. These collective memories can provide an identity for the group. They have been responsible for providing a group its sense of place, as well as exacerbating ethnic and national tension. This course is concerned with the way these collective memories are formed, maintained and remembered. Interdisciplinary in its content, it will focus on the way memories are transmitted across a group, how distinctive renderings of a group can converge on a shared recollection, and how collectively held memories remain stable, often over centuries. The course will read relevant literature in anthropology, history, political science, sociology, and psychology, though its main focus will be on understanding the contribution psychology can make to the study of collective memory.