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Remapping Memory

Remapping Memory: The Politics of TimeSpace

Jonathan Boyarin editor
Afterword by Charles Tilly
Copyright Date: 1994
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Remapping Memory
    Book Description:

    An intriguing collection of essays offering a new way of understanding how the politics of space, time and memory are negotiated to bring people to terms with their history. Space, time and memory are addressed in relation to an event either of historical significance, like the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or cultural significance, like the Indian preoccupation with reincarnation. Contributors include Akhil Gupta, Charles R. Hale Carina Perelli, Jennifer Schirmer, Daniel A. Segal, Charles Tilly, and Lisa Yoneyama.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8594-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. vii-xiv)
    Jonthan Boyarin

    COLLECTIVE VOLUMES LIKE this one are sometimes presented as if they had dropped fully formed from the sky, needing only, perhaps, some appended acknowledgments to sponsors. They may thus seem to pretend to be the last and complete word on their given topic. This one, at least, is the result of contingent connections between specialists in widely divergent areas who took advantage of an opportunity to articulate a common agenda. The book’s topic is so large, and intersects with so many fast-developing trends in cultural research, that it seems wisest to introduce it with a straightforward account of how it...

  4. 1 Space, Time, and the Politics of Memory
    (pp. 1-38)
    Jonathan Boyarin

    The social dimensions of time and space are the subject of numerous discourses, most notably perhaps in contemporary geography. The relations between history and memory (both “individual” and “collective”) have also received increasing attention from the likes of historians, anthropologists, and literary scholars. In the past few years, “the politics of memory” has even become an object of explicit concern (Comay 1990; Rappaport 1990).¹ The French have already moved on from memory to forgetting, with a collection calledUsages de I'oubli(Yerushalmi et al. 1988).

    Links among these themes have recently emerged, in landmark critiques of ethnographic rhetoric (especially Fabian...

  5. 2 Memoria de Sangre: Fear, Hope, and Disenchantment in Argentina
    (pp. 39-66)
    Carina Perelli

    PERHAPS ARGENTINA COULD best be described as a “has been” country, where nostalgia flourishes. Argentines tend to use the often mythologized past as a source of strength to face the future. Still smarting from the decline of their country and unable to come to terms with the fact that Argentina doesn’t count any more in the roster of the nations, they obtain a measure of comfort and an increased sense of self-esteem from belonging to a country that was in the near past different from—sous-entendu,better than—the rest of the Latin and North American nations, a country that...

  6. 3 “Wan Tasbaya Dukiara”: Contested Notions of Land Rights in Miskitu History
    (pp. 67-98)
    Charles R. Hale

    AFTER A SHORT TIME living in the Miskitu Indian community of Sandy Sirpi, it became clear to me that people there assigned great importance to “the land.” When I first arrived in 1985 the area had been engulfed in war for three years. Nicaraguan troops stationed in Sandy Bay 1983 had clashed repeatedly with combatants from MISURASATA,² Indian organization in arms against the government. In April 1985 MISURASATA and the Nicaraguan government agreed to “cease offensive activities,” thereby giving Sandy Bay a respite from the war, allowing the government to resume services to the community, and generally raising hopes for...

  7. 4 Taming the Memoryscape: Hiroshima’s Urban Renewal
    (pp. 99-136)
    Lisa Yoneyama

    A proposal by an inquiry commission in 1988 put forth a vision of Hiroshima, originally outlined in 1970, as an “International Peace and Cultural City.”³ The city proposes to establish a municipal environment that fully anticipates features of the “oming new age”: internationalization, further development of high technology (hai teku), of high-level information systems (kôdo jôhôka), the overall aging of society, and “diversification of individuals’ values.” The making of a “messe(trade show and market) and convention city,” ormesse konbenshon shitî,was confirmed as the most adequate objective for future development. In order to achieve this goal the called...

  8. 5 Hegel’s Zionism?
    (pp. 137-160)
    Jonathan Boyarin

    THIS ESSAY IS an attempt to articulate some of the modern European assumptions about history and national existence that underlie early secular Zionist thinking. These assumptions still seem to be in force among Israel’s academic elite and among the leaders of many of its political parties. They help to shape the discursive field within which the makers of Israeli policy and opinion conceive possible resolutions of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. Thus this essay will repeatedly juxtapose critical discussion of Hegel and other early modern thinkers with symptomatic citations of Zionist thought. I will make explicit the shared nexus of...

  9. 6 The Reincarnation of Souls and the Rebirth of Commodities: Representations of Time in “East”and “West”
    (pp. 161-184)
    Akhil Gupta

    In 1984-85, while doing fieldwork in a small village in northern India that I have named Alipur, I found myself the subject of an unlikely story. that time, I didn’t know quite what to make of it (I still don’t), but it proved to be both profoundly unsettling and curiously affecting. The story was told by a young girl who was not quite three years old, perhaps even closer to being two. She was the youngest of four children of a relatively well-to-do high-caste (Thaakur) household of the village. In the course of my fieldwork, especially toward the end of...

  10. 7 The Claiming of Space and the Body Politic within National–Security States: The Plaza de Mayo Madres and the Greenham Common Women
    (pp. 185-220)
    Jennifer Schirmer

    Just as states use ideology as a basis for hegemonic control of society, so, too, do states assert their power through the control of public space. In turn, just as such ideology is resisted through counterideological practices, so, too, is the state’s control of public space resisted by forms of spatialized disobedience, primarily through the use of speech and the body. The mothers who have demonstrated at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires (called the “Plaza de Mayo Madres” throughout this essay) and the women protesters at Greenham Common peace encampment in England are two groups for whom space...

  11. 8 Living Ancestors: Nationalism and the Past Postcolonial Trinidad Postcolonial Trinidad and Tobago
    (pp. 221-240)
    Daniel A.Segal

    NATIONALISM AND THE so-called Old World typically proclaim that their respective nations are primordial and transhistorical. And since our scholarship generally takes European history to be exemplary and universal, such claims to primordiality have often been cast as a defining characteristic of nationalist ideologies. Concomitantly, most scholars have framed New World nationalisms as problematic cases, rather than normative ones, precisely because the New World is inscribed with signs of polygenesis—notably syncretism, diffusion, and so-called miscegenation. It is not simply that diversity is hypervisible in the New World, for this is equally true in Central and Eastern Europe, but that...

  12. Afterword: Political Memories in Space and Time
    (pp. 241-256)
    Charles Tilly

    Antoine de Crouzet, great judge of Montpellier, spent a busy 30 June 1645. As he reported in his deposition,

    [I] received word from various places that many women of the city as well as the city’s artisans and farmers had gathered in a group of two or three hundred to complain of a certain tax levied on artisans of guilds and brotherhoods for the Happy Accession to the Crown, and other taxes and imposts, and that they went, carrying axes, knives, halberds, and swords, to the Swan Inn, seeking the tax farmers who were staying there. (Bibliothèque Nationale Fonds Français...

  13. Contributors
    (pp. 257-258)
  14. Index
    (pp. 259-266)