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Scales of memory in the archaeology of the Second World War

Moshenska, G; (2006) Scales of memory in the archaeology of the Second World War. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology , 17 58 - 68. 10.5334/pia.269. Green open access

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Abstract

The growing interest in archaeologies of the recent past has included attempts to link archaeology with memory in its various forms but has lacked a coherent theoretical and methodological approach. This paper outlines a model for engaging with memory in the archaeology of the Second World War, drawing on recent work in memory studies and oral history. One of the principal pitfalls in memory work is the conflation and confusion of individual and social memory: in this paper I attempt to identify and outline different forms or scales of memory: individual memory, group narratives, and social memorialisation. If we distinguish between these models in relation to Second World War archaeological sites we can assess their accuracy and usefulness and begin to trace the intricate power relations implicit in memory work. The sites in question, a Nazi prison in Berlin and a Prisoner of War camp in Poland, illustrate the contested and highly politicised nature of memory-based work and archaeological studies of this period. By opening up such sites to the popular gaze, archaeologists have the power to bring these debates into the public sphere, potentially undermining the hegemony of officially sanctioned memory and making the production of meaningful pasts a more inclusive process.

Type: Article
Title: Scales of memory in the archaeology of the Second World War
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5334/pia.269
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/pia.269
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1329038
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