Memory functions and functions of memory

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 12:00

 I gave a talk on a systemic perspective to memory institutions and participated in the beginning of the week in the summer school of the MEMORNET doctoral programme in Tampere, Finland. Maryanne Dever from the University of Newcastle (Australia) gave a highly enticing keynote on the pleasures of paper, according to her own words, citing Karl Lagerfeld for the first time in an academic talk. The student papers gave an excellent overview of some possible things the notion of memory institutions and memory functions can be. Memory is obviously a central theme in cultural heritage studies and in the context of archives, libraries and museums, but it pertains also the realm of digital culture and corporate entities. Because of its diversity, it is also very important to ask what memory is all about in these different contexts. Even if it is easy to assume that memory functions or the function of 'memory' is somehow similar in various cultural heritage contexts, it is definitely not. In this sense it would be highly important to try to make excursions outside the context of 'memory' in 'cultural heritage' in order to understand the variety of 'memories' it really engages.