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Memory, Media and Digital Culture


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: Silke Arnold-de Simine (subject to change)
  • Assessment: a theoretical essay of 2500 words (40%) and case study (25%)

Module description

This module will look at how societies and groups choose to remember and connect to the past, how they not only secure and transmit but form memories with the help of different media. It aims to explore the role played by both traditional and new media in creating personal and collective identities.

We will investigate how collective memories are drawn upon in narratives that construct the histories and identities of 'racial', national and ethnic groups, which in turn underpin those groups' ideological and political claims. We will study the latest concepts of and approaches to cultural memory and apply them to case studies across a wide range of media forms such as cinema, TV, radio, digital archives, memorials and museums.

The module will provide you with the analytical and methodological skills for understanding the importance of cultural memory, including the global impact of the so-called 'memory boom', the notion of transnational and transcultural memory, and the fact that memories may refer to the past but are instrumental in shaping our present and future.

indicative module content

  • Introduction to cultural memory
  • Social, political and cultural memory
  • Mobile memories: post-memory, prosthetic memory and transgenerational haunting
  • Mediating memory
  • Media: forms, technologies, institutions
  • New media and the archive
  • Politics of memory
  • Ethics of memory
  • Memory and trauma
  • Memory and fantasy

    Learning objectives

    On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

    • demonstrate an understanding of and engagement with interdisciplinary approaches to memory and media
    • demonstrate awareness of distinct theoretical perspectives and the relations and tensions between them
    • critically analyse the way memory and media studies intersect
    • have gained knowledge of key theorists who have played an important role in the development of the theoretical and analytical paradigms associated with the discipline of memory studies
    • reflect on and critically assess theoretical models drawn from a range of disciplines and philosophical perspectives
    • understand and articulate theories at an abstract level, while engaging with practical, relevant applications and case examples
    • research complex academic work effectively
    • write and communicate to a scholarly standard, especially in coursework essays
    • develop skills in observation
    • develop essay-writing skills, including referencing and bibliography
    • generate practical uses for and context-specific understandings of theoretical models
    • crystallise sophisticated theorisations in a cogent, relevant manner
    • develop own arguments using abstract concepts and relevant case examples
    • build advanced skills in critically assessing and using scholarly literature.