Violence and the politics of memory in a global context: An overture


  • Marije Hristova Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University
  • Lee Douglas Department of Anthropology, New York University
  • Zoé de Kerangat Instituto de Lengua, Literatura y Antropología, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
  • Francisco Ferrándiz Instituto de Lengua, Literatura y Antropología, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas



Memory studies, memory cultures, discourse, materiality, interdisciplinarity, globalization, post-violence remembrance


Engaging with a growing body of literature regarding post-violence remembrance, this article considers how distinct disciplines approach the study of contemporary “memory cultures” and addresses the issues that arise when violent pasts are considered in a global, comparative perspective. The paper reflects on theoretical and conceptual debates that have emerged in the permanent seminar, Traces and Faces of Violence, an intellectual ILLACCHS- CSIC-based symposium dedicated to the interdisciplinary, comparative analysis of post-violence memory cultures in different social, political and historical contexts. It identifies two specific arenas of interpretation that have been particularly useful for engaging with global memory studies literature: the historical, judicial, political, social and personal discourses regarding the past and reflections on the relationship between memory and materiality. By “traveling” through a series of case studies and by identifying their points of convergence, as well as their points of tension, this “overture” suggests that we approach the temporal and spatial movement of memory, as well as its immobility, as two ends in the process of remembering. In doing so, the article illustrates how local case studies inform, shape and transform globally circulating discourses and how the emergent transnational repertoire of knowledge regarding violent pasts provides a framework for reacting to a wide variety of local struggles.


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How to Cite

Hristova, M., Douglas, L., de Kerangat, Z., & Ferrándiz, F. (2014). Violence and the politics of memory in a global context: An overture. Culture &Amp; History Digital Journal, 3(2), e012.