Thinking Through Time: From Collective Memories to Collective Futures

  • Constance de Saint-Laurent
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


This chapter explores the links between collective memory and the imagination of collective futures. Drawing on works on imagination and autobiographical memory, it first discusses the role of past experiences in imagining the future. It then highlights the consequences of this perspective for collective memories and collective futures, arguing that the former provides the basis for the latter. Three case studies are presented, each illustrating a different type of relation between collective memory and imagination. This will lead me to the conclusion that representations of the world are characterised by “temporal heteroglossia”, the simultaneous presence of multiple periods of time, and that they mediate the relation between collective memory and imagination, allowing us to “think through time”.


Future imagination Collective memory Metamemory Heteroglossia Analogies Uses of the past 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constance de Saint-Laurent
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland

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