Memory, Society, and Self

Module code: SY3077

Module co-ordinator: Professor Barbara A Misztal

In this module we will examine current research in the rapidly expanding field of 'social remembering'. We will look at how the process of remembering has been (and is being) conceptualised by locating it in the broader field of social science.

Together we will explore how social memory is generated, maintained, and reproduced through texts, images, sites, and experiences. We will consider a range of approaches to memory, in particular the importance of social frameworks and contexts in the process of remembering.

We will analyse the complex relationships between memory and commemoration, memory and identity, memory and trauma, and memory and justice. Finally, we will discuss how new forms of digital media change and challenge the ways in which we store, use, and rely on memory.

Topics covered

  • The role of memory in social life
  • Memory and history
  • Memory in premodern societies
  • Memory in the new Media Age
  • Theorising remembering
  • The invention of traditions
  • The popular memory approach
  • The dynamics of memory approach
  • The remembering process: the self
  • Memory and identity
  • Memory and forgetting
  • Memory and forgiving
  • Memory and justice
  • Towards cosmopolitan memory
  • Memory, time, and generation
  • Memory, imagination, and rituals


  • Eighteen one-hour lectures
  • Eight one-hour seminars


  • Portfolio (30%)
  • Coursework (70%)