The Memory Phenomenon as a Time in Historical Scholarship

  • Patrick H. Hutton


I contrast the assessment of the state of memory studies by sociologists Jeffrey Olick, Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, and Daniel Levy in 2011 with that of Pierre Nora in 1984. The comparison provides perspective on the reconfiguration of the memory phenomenon during the interim. Initially conceived as a search for the mnemonic sources of a dissolving modern historiography, the study of collective memory has since become an interdisciplinary venture, for some a “new wave” of scholarship in which historians play only a contributing role. In light of this transition in the venue for the study of memory, I revisit the perspective of five historians who have reflected on the enduring value of the historians’ role vis-à-vis this new milieu of scholarship: Rosenfeld, Farge, Darnton, Yerushalmi, and Ricoeur. I close with a recapitulation of the way in which the interest in memory has influenced our understanding of history.


Memory phenomenon Memory studies 

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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick H. Hutton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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