Module Catalogue 2020/21

MCH2011 : Memory Matters: Mediating Present Pasts for the Future (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Joanne Sayner
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



How do you remember your past? Where do you get your knowledge of other peoples’ pasts from and in what form? Who has the right to tell and the authority to be believed? Who cares? This module aims to convince you that memory matters, that we live in times of an unprecedented ‘memory boom’, and that the media are at the very heart of the present preoccupation with the past. It aims to give you the tools to think about different scales and dimensions of memory; from the personal to the global, from the concrete to the virtual, from the happy to the horrific. It aims to give you the confidence to range across different theoretical, methodological and practical approaches to memory. It aims to enable you to identify relationships of power, pragmatic and utopian politics, and preoccupations with place in contemporary battles to remember, and, ultimately, to position yourself in this fascinating and contested field.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus may be subject to changes but may typically include:
Concepts, definitions and challenges; Media witnessing; Memories of children and childhood; (En)gendering memory; Performativity and commemorative practice; Anniversaries; Archives in cultures of amnesia; Multidirectional memory;
National memories; Memories without borders; Cosmopolitanism; The future(s) of memory

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module you will be able to:

1.       engage in critical discussion about the usefulness and limitations of concepts of memory
2.       differentiate between different scales and dimensions of memory
3.       use relevant theoretical and methodological frameworks to investigate specific case studies
4.       respond critically to contemporary debates about memory and mediation

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module you will be able to:

1.       demonstrate your research skills by investigating a wide range of sources and selecting relevant case studies
2.       apply relevant theories to case studies following this independent research
3.       summarise key ideas of some of the key thinkers within memory studies
4.       synthesise information and convey this succinctly in written form
5.       demonstrate your skills of constructive criticism

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1104:00104:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Interactive, participation expected
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:0060:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Interactive lectures will provide you with the theoretical and methodological framework you need to become familiar with key names and concepts in the field. When backed up with small-group teaching, where you will study the relevant literature and case studies in detail, this structure will enable you to become proficient at recognising the points of controversy and to become confident at intervening in the debates.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Reflective log2M20Blog post: 600 words
Reflective log2M20Blog post: 600 words, peer-review response to earlier post
Essay2A602,500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Reflective log2MBlog post: 600 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative and summative assessment is staggered in such a way as to allow for incremental, reflexive learning. The blogs will allow you to post on real time events that you have selected yourselves and, in doing so, to appreciate the significance of this knowledge for contemporary life; that is, why memory matters. The peer-reviewed blog will allow you to engage closely with the learning aims and objectives of the module and to recognise productive differences in theoretical and methodological approaches. It will also hone your skills of constructive criticism. The blogs and the essay will allow you to consider different scales and dimensions of memory and to decide where you would most like to intervene in the debates. You will be given a list of potential essay questions but will also be able to define your own topics in consultation with the module leader. Skills of research, synthesis and clarity will be needed for both forms of assessment.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.