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Silence, Screen, and Spectacle

Rethinking Social Memory in the Age of Information

Edited by Lindsey A. Freeman, Benjamin Nienass, and Rachel Daniell

260 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-280-5 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (February 2014)

ISBN  978-1-78533-355-2 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (February 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78238-281-2 eBook

Hb Pb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors

“This is an extremely interesting collection of essays on a wide variety of memory practices from across the globe.”  ·  Jo Labanyi, New York University

In an age of information and new media the relationships between remembering and forgetting have changed. This volume addresses the tension between loud and often spectacular histories and those forgotten pasts we strain to hear. Employing social and cultural analysis, the essays within examine mnemonic technologies both new and old, and cover subjects as diverse as U.S. internment camps for Japanese Americans in WWII, the Canadian Indian Residential School system, Israeli memorial videos, and the desaparecidos in Argentina. Through these cases, the contributors argue for a re-interpretation of Guy Debord’s notion of the spectacle as a conceptual apparatus through which to examine the contemporary landscape of social memory, arguing that the concept of spectacle might be developed in an age seen as dissatisfied with the present, nervous about the future, and obsessed with the past. Perhaps now “spectacle” can be thought of not as a tool of distraction employed solely by hegemonic powers, but instead as a device used to answer Walter Benjamin’s plea to “explode the continuum of history” and bring our attention to now-time.

Lindsey A. Freeman is an Assistant Professor in Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Longing for the Bomb: Oak Ridge and Atomic Nostalgia and a co-editor of The Bohemian South: Creating Countercultures from Poe to Punk.

Benjamin Nienass is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at California State University San Marcos. His research is concerned with the politics of memory in postnational contexts, particularly in the European Union.

Rachel Daniell is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at The Graduate Center, CUNY and works with the Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense (EAAF). Her research examines everyday social practices around data and documents that contribute to the visibility of human rights violations.

Series: Volume 14, Remapping Cultural History
Subject: Media Studies General Cultural Studies Sociology

LC: P96.H55 .S55 2014

BL: SPIS302.23

BISAC: SOC052000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Media Studies; COM080000 COMPUTERS/History

BIC: JFD Media studies; JFC Cultural studies


List of Illustrations

Lindsey A. Freeman, Benjamin Nienass, and Rachel Daniell


Chapter 1. Haunted by the Spectre of Communism: Spectacle and Silence in Hungary’s House of Terror
Amy Sodaro  

Chapter 2. Making Visible: Reflexive Narratives at the Manzanar U.S. National Historic Site
Rachel Daniell

Chapter 3. The Everyday as Spectacle: Archival Imagery and the Work of Reconciliation in Canada
Naomi Angel


Chapter 4. Viral Affiliations: Facebook, Queer Kinship, and the Memory of the Disappeared in Contemporary Argentina
Cecilia Sosa

Chapter 5. Learning by Heart: Humming, Singing, Memorizing in Israeli Memorial Videos
Laliv Melamed

Chapter 6. Arcade Mode: Remembering, Revisiting, and Replaying the American Video Arcade
Samuel Tobin


Chapter 7. Remembering Forgetting: A Monument to Erasure at the University of North Carolina
Timothy J. McMillan

Chapter 8. The Power of Conflicting Memories in European Transnational Social Movements
Nicole Doerr

Chapter 9. Memories of Jews and the Holocaust in Postcommunist Eastern Europe: The Case of Poland
Joanna Michlic

Chapter 10. 1989 as Collective Memory “Refolution”: East-Central Europe Confronts Memorial Silence
Susan C. Pearce

Conclusion: Silence, Screen, and Spectacle: Rethinking Social Memory in the Age of Information and New Media
Lindsey A. Freeman, Benjamin Nienass, and Rachel Daniell

List of Contributors

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