In recent years, transgenerational memory has attracted increasing interest amongst scholars in a range of disciplines.
creating powerful emotion-laden versions of the past from an early age” (Roper 2018).
Whilst these remain prevalent themes in the study of transgenerational memory, more recently research has also been conducted on a range of topics, from the complexities of intra- and inter-state conflicts in the latter twentieth and twenty-first centuries, to the continued legacies of colonialism and imperialism. We seek to expand this field, by exploring under-researched approaches and perspectives relating to the ways in which memories are shaped across generations.
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Keynote: ‘Beyond the Language of Transmission: On the Need for Conceptual Renewal in
Transgenerational Memory Studies’, Dr Lucy Newby, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Brighton
Drawing on her recent work on memory and temporality in ‘post-conflict’ societies, Dr. Newby considers the potential pitfalls of a continued reliance on ‘transmission’ as a conceptual anchor within the field of transgenerational memory. She raises the question of whether this reliance may overdetermine the questions scholars are likely to ask of the process of memory communication, de- limiting the potential outcomes of their research. Developing this critique, she makes the case for developing an alternative conceptual language able to sensitively capture the messy and multi- directional nature of memory’s complex temporal dynamics.
Lucy Newby is an oral historian with a particular interest in the politics of individual and cultural memory in societies emerging from violent division. She completed her doctoral research at the University of Brighton in 2020.
Much of the initial work in the field focused on the personal, experiential memory
of Holocaust survivors and the combatants and non-combatants of the ‘total’ wars of the twentieth
century. Dwindling survivor generations, however, has prompted a scholarly interest in ‘post-memory’
(Hirsch 1992). Along these lines, some scholars have pointed to the importance of intergenerational
familial transmission of memory particularly as “families are a crucial source of collective memory [...]