Challenging the meaning of the past from below: a typology for comparative research on memory activists

Gutman, Y. and Wüstenberg, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-0405-3607, 2021. Challenging the meaning of the past from below: a typology for comparative research on memory activists. Memory Studies, 15 (5). ISSN 1750-6980

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Memory activists have recently received more scholarly and public attention, but the concept lacks conceptual clarity. In this article, we articulate an analytical framework for studying memory activists, proposing a relatively narrow definition: “Memory activists” strategically commemorate the past to challenge (or protect) dominant views on the past and the institutions that represent them. Their goal is mnemonic change or to resist change. We locate scholarship on memory activists at the intersection of memory studies and social movement studies. We introduce a typology for comparative analysis of memory activism according to activist roles, temporality, and modes of interaction with other actors in memory politics, and illustrate this with a diverse set of empirical examples. We contend that the analytical utility of the concept of the “memory activist” is premised on its value-neutrality, and in particular, its application to both pro and anti-democratic cases of activism.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Memory Studies
Creators: Gutman, Y. and Wüstenberg, J.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date: 10 October 2021
Volume: 15
Number: 5
ISSN: 1750-6980
Rights: © The Author(s) 2021. © 2021 Copyright - All Rights Reserved Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. Article reuse guidelines: DOI: 10.1177/17506980211044696
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 03 Nov 2021 09:00
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 10:49

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