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Research Projects and Collaborations

My book Mediating Memory in the Museum. Empathy, Trauma, Nostalgia (October, 2013) probes the shifts in exhibiting practices associated with the transformation of history and heritage museums into ‘spaces of memory’. The processes of memory transfer and their ethical, political and aesthetic implications are at the core of my research. I am especially interested in the role of different media and art forms in the transmission of memory and in questions of their gendering. The case studies have been chosen to allow for a comparative approach to concepts of ‘prosthetic’ memory, empathy, trauma and nostalgia with the aim of identifying transnational tendencies as well as culturally diverse responses.

Like Cultural Studies, Memory Studies is a truly interdisciplinary field and the research collaborations I was able to foster over the last few years span different disciplines. From 2013-2016 I was UK Representative for the EU-financed research network COST Action IS1203 (European Cooperation in Science and Technology): In Search of Transcultural Memory in Europe (ISTME).

In 2016/17 I was a member of the Nordic Research Network New First World War Memories – Tectonics of Memory in Europe. Together with colleagues from Denmark (Tea Sindbaek-Andersen, Copenhagen University), Ireland (Emilie Pine, University College Dublin), Norway (Alexandre Dessingué, Stavanger University) and Sweden (Eleonora Narvselius, University of Lund) we compared the transcultural dynamics of memory transmission and commemorative activities in the attempt to move beyond the tendency within memory studies to focus on national memory and to reify the links between culture, nation and memory.

I have been a member of the British Academy International Partnership and Mobility (IPM) Scheme “Commemoration, New Audiences and Spaces of Memory in Latin America’s Southern Cone: Trans-cultural Dialogues in the Wake of Loss" which fosters exchange between UK scholars specializing in memory studies, performance and trauma theory with academics, human rights practitioners, artists and curators working on memory sites in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

As part of an AHRC funded Research Network I have worked together with academics and museum practitioners to understand how silence, empathy and memory interact in museums and at historic sites.

In cooperation with Professor Jens Andermann (Zürich University), I published the proceedings of a one-day conference on ‘Memory, Community and the New Museum’ as special issues in Theory, Culture & Society and the Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society (see publications).

Conference and workshop organisation

  • We are currently planning the Memories of the Future 2.0 conference at the Centre for Cultural Memory Studies at the IMLR, University of London (March 2019)
  • Co-organiser of the workshop Framing the Object: Memory, Nation, Narrative in collaboration with Sabrina Ben Aouicha, Curator of the British Museum Exhibition ‘Germany: Memories of a Nation’ (16 October 2014 – 25 January 2015)
  • Co-organiser of the symposium The Redesign of the Imperial War Museum (London): Memory and History Reconsidered (Senate House, University of London, 13 March 2015)
  • Organiser of the conference Mobile and Mobilising Memories: The Centenary and its Effects on First World War Memory in Europe (Birkbeck, 21 February 2015)
  • Co-organiser of International Conference Picturing the Family: Media, Narrative, Memory’ and exhibition in the Peltz Gallery: ‘Family Ties: Reframing Memory (10-11 July 2014), the proceedings have now been published with Bloomsbury.