Presenting unwieldy pasts
Revista Académica
Memory Studies
Autores COES:
Otros Autores: Katherine Hite

In the rich and varied work of memory studies, scholars have turned to exploring the meanings that different communities assign to the past, the social mediations of memories, as well as how the memories of subaltern subjects re-signify the relationship between history and memory. This special issue explores the ever present dynamics of unwieldy pasts through what have been termed “the spectral turn” and “the forensic turn.” We argue that specters (which appear in the literature as ghosts, or as haunting) and exhumations defy notions of temporality or resolution. Both trace the social dynamics that redefine the meanings of the past and that voice suffering, expose institutions’ limits, reveal disputes, explore affect and privilege political resistance. They draw from significant intellectual traditions across disciplinary and thematic boundaries in the natural and social sciences, the humanities, art and fiction. Their intellectual subjects range from work that explores the political struggles of confronting slavery and the possibility of reparations in the Americas long after it was formally abolished, to sensitive treatments of graves of Franco’s Spain. We suggest that both the spectral turn and the forensic turn have provided lenses to conceptualize the social life of unwieldy pasts, by exploring its dynamics, practices, and the cultural transmissions. They have also offered a language to communities that mobilize the political strength of resentment, deepened by the late phase of global capitalism and its consequent, deepening inequalities.

Como citar: Hite, K., & Jara, D. (2020). Presenting unwieldy pasts. Memory Studies, 13(3), 245–252
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