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Mediating Memory in the Museum


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Table of Contents

List of Figures Glossary Acknowledgments Introduction 1 PART I: MUSEUM, MEMORY, MEDIUM 1. A New Type of Museum? 2. Memory Boom, Memory Wars and Memory Crisis 3. Is There Such a Thing as 'Collective Memory'? 4. Media Frameworks of Remembering 5. Difficult Pasts, Vicarious Trauma: The Concept of 'Secondary Witnessing' 6. Empathy and its Limits in the Museum 7. Nostalgia and Post-Nostalgia in Heritage Sites PART II: THE DEATHS OF OTHERS: REPRESENTING TRAUMA IN WAR MUSEUMS 8. Sites of Trauma 9. Icons of Trauma PART III: SCREEN MEMORIES AND THE 'MOVING' IMAGE: EMPATHY AND PROJECTION IN ISM, LIVERPOOL, AND IWM NORTH, MANCHESTER 10. The Politics of Empathy 11. Testimonial Video Installation 12. Middle Passage Installation 13. The Big Picture in IWM North 14. Guilt, Grief and Empathy PART IV: THE PARADOXES OF NOSTALGIA IN MUSEUMS AND HERITAGE SITES 15. (Post-)Nostalgia for the Museum? The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford 16. The Ghosts of Spitalfields: 18 Folgate Street and 19 Princelet Street 17. Intangible Heritage, Place and Community: Ecomusee d'Alsace 18. Ostalgie - Nostalgia for GDR Everyday Culture? The GDR in the Museum PART V: UNCANNY OBJECTS, UNCANNY TECHNOLOGIES 19. Phantasmagoria and its Spectres in the Museum Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

"This is essential reading for anyone interested in the role of museums in today's memory culture." (Astrid Erll, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany) "Mediating Memory in the Museum provides a comprehensive and engaging study of the ethics, politics and aesthetics of the new memory museum. Innovatively combining insights from memory studies, museum studies and media studies Arnold-de Simine goes beyond description to produce a finely-tuned evaluation of the achievements and limitations of the new museological practices identified in this ground-breaking work." (Susannah Radstone, University of South Australia, Australia) "Silke Arnold-de Simine's clearly written study demonstrates the important contribution memory studies can make to understanding contemporary curatorial and design strategies in museums. Through a series of fascinating case studies, she explores the role of ideas of trauma, witnessing, collective memory, media as prosthetic memories, nostalgia and 'dark tourism'? Above all, she provides a much needed critique of museum assumptions about visitor identification and empathy." (Michelle Henning, University of West London, UK) "An original and much needed contribution to memory and museum studies that draws our attention to the intersections of trauma, empathy and nostalgia within what Arnold de Simine terms the 'memory museum'. The book closely works through a wide range of powerfully analyzed case studies that connect together in new ways how we think about difficult pasts in the museum environment." (Anna Reading, Kings College, University of London, UK)"/p>

About the Author

Silke Arnold-de Simine is Senior Lecturer in the Department of European Cultures and Languages, Birkbeck, University of London, UK. Previously she taught at the University of Mannheim and the University of Cambridge. She is the editor of Memory Traces: 1989 and the Question of German Cultural Identity (2005), co-edtior of 'Museums and the Educational Turn: History, Memory, Inclusivity', a special issue of the Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, and co-organiser of the Cultural Memory Series at the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, London.


"Silke Arnold-de Simine's book is a tour de force that introduces readers to a variety of new museums and heritage sites across Europe ... When the reader finishes reading this intriguing and moving book, the first thing he or she wants to do is rush out and visit those new museums." (Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, Vol. 2 (3-4), March, 2016)"Arnold-de Simine provides a very useful starting point for those wading into the research area situated between memory studies and museum studies. In making clear distinctions between authentic objects, representational displays, video testimony, and memory texts within her analysis of the mediated exhibits, she provides a nuanced understanding of the differences between museums, memorials, remembrance, and the spatial reenactment of trauma. Her synthesis of concepts from the various fields associated with the flourishing of "spaces of memory" will prove especially useful for anyone new to this burgeoning field." (Amy Freier, Memory Studies, 2015, Vol. 8(3), p.379-382)"This book is a welcome and extremely useful contribution to the subject of memory studies. I suspect it will reinvigorate the field in some interesting ways and may even form the core of a new, much-needed round of cross-disciplinary research." (Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 2014)

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