Abstract Collective Memory and Cultural Memory

Collective Memory and Cultural Memory

The Island – Clones with a Collective Memory of the World’s Apocalypse and Prosthetic memories of a life they never lived.

This chapter explores the concept of collective memory and its relationship to prosthetic memory and cultural memory. It challenges Susan Sontag’s argument that collective memory is not about remembering but rather about stipulating importance and constructing narratives. The discussion draws upon the definition proposed by Halbwachs, who suggests that collective memory relies on individuals recalling events from the viewpoint of their social groups.

The narrational nature of collective memory is highlighted, emphasizing its structured and familiar cultural patterns. The definition of collective memory is expanded to include shared memories among social groups, such as cinema audiences. Halbwachs’ notion of collective memory as a reconstruction of the past in light of the present is discussed, emphasizing the influence of social frameworks on individual recollections.

Maurice Halbwachs is credited as the pioneer of collective memory research, arguing that personal memories are filtered through collective and social memories.

The unreliable nature of collective memories is examined, as they are often formed through narratives and influenced by various sources. The chapter also mentions the broader focus in contemporary memory studies on historical, social, cultural, and popular memory. The concept of collective memory is seen as a collection of memories formed by individuals, cultures, and within social domains, including cultural and nationalistic perspectives.

Abstract – Prosthetic Memory