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The Memory Effect is a collection of essays on the status of memory—individual and collective, cultural and transcultural—in contemporary literature, film, and other visual media. Contributors look at memory’s representation, adaptation, translation, and appropriation, as well as its mediation and remediation. Memory’s irreducibly constructed nature is explored, even as its status is reaffirmed as the basis of both individual and collective identity.
The book begins with an overview of the field, with an emphasis on the question of subjectivity. Under the section title Memory Studies: Theories, Changes, and Challenges, these chapters lay the theoretical groundwork for the volume. Section 2, Literature and the Power of Cultural Memory/Memorializing, focuses on the relation between literature and cultural memory. Section 3, Recuperating Lives: Memory and Life Writing, shifts the focus from literature to autobiography and life writing, especially those lives shaped by trauma and forgotten by history. Section 4, Cinematic Remediations: Memory and History, examines specific films in an effort to account for cinema’s intimate and mutually constitutive relationship with memory and history. The final section, Multi-Media Interventions: Television, Video, and Collective Memory, considers individual and collective memory in the context of contemporary visual texts, at the crossroads of popular and avant-garde cultures.