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Module

MCH3003 : Memory Matters: Mediating Present Pasts for the Future

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Susannah Eckersley
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

We live in times of an unprecedented ‘memory boom’, where conflicts over memory, memorials and commemoration are present in across society – in media and discourse as well as in heritage and memory practices. How do we remember and represent important issues from the past? What choices are made - and by whom - over what should be remembered, and what forgotten? Who has the right to tell and the authority to be believed? Whose voices have been neglected and how are ‘memory activists’ changing this? How is memory mediated within society and culture and for what purposes?

This interdisciplinary module aims to analyse why memory matters – to whom, when, where and how. It aims to give you 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 work with 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; memory actors and memory activism; Media representation and witnessing; memory and emotion; 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; COVID memories; The future(s) of memory

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Interactive, participation expected. On campus.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1107:00107:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00On campus
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:0060:00N/A
Total200:00
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.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M40Discussion thread: minimum 4 contributions to Canvas Discussion board and 2 comments over module duration (c. 2,000 words in total)
Essay2A602,500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment is planned in such a way as to allow for incremental, reflexive learning.

The Discussion Board contributions 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. Students will be required to contribute to this board over the course of the module, writing a minimum of 4 discussion posts responding to and reflecting on a theme or idea raised during the lecture, responding to each other’s posts and sharing examples of memory practices, debates and representations that relate to the lecture topics. This will hone student skills of constructive criticism and critical reflection within an interdisciplinary setting.The comments and responses from your peers 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 assessment methods offer students the opportunity to explore themes from the module and apply them in a theoretical and practical way. Essay 1 allows students to identify and critique theories, themes and methods discussed within the module in order to analyse different scales and dimensions of memory in relation to examples of their choice. Students will be given a list of potential essay questions, but will also be able to define their own topics in consultation with the module leader, enabling students to draw out specific interests, practices or debates that are of interest to them.

The discussion contributions 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. Skills of research, analysis, synthesis and clarity of argument will be needed for both forms of assessment.

Reading Lists

Timetable