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Research Area 1: Cultural Memory Studies

This Research Area is concerned with the conceptual, theoretical, methodological and practical questions raised by the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of memory studies. It draws on the strong tradition of cultural memory studies in Giessen.

Through discussions, lectures, masterclasses, research presentations, exhibitions and other practical formats, the Research Area seeks to explore the global variety of approaches to, simply put, the role of the past in the present. The group has, in recent semesters, explored classic texts that have inspired the field, such as Maurice Halbwachs’ sociological studies, as well as products of the “memory boom” that has seen investigations of remembering flourish in the past three decades.

As well as dealing with now-canonical concepts, such as collective memory, sites of memory (lieux de mémoire), trauma, or travelling memory, the Research Area has also kept abreast of recent developments in the field by exploring, for example, the transnational or transcultural turn in memory studies. The Research Area works closely with scholars in area studies, particularly those working on Eastern Europe, South America, Africa and Anglophone cultures, thus providing a critical environment for testing the global claims of memory studies.

A central objective of the Research Area in upcoming semesters will be exploring the connections of memory studies to other fields and disciplines. While continuing the strong interdisciplinary intersections with history, social sciences, political science and literary studies, the Research Area seeks is now focussing on Digital Memory and deliberative approaches to memory representations in museums.

As a collaborative and open group, the Research Area is always open to testing new ideas and formats in its explorations of relations between past, present and future. The Research Area collaborates closely with the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform, led by Astrid Erll. It also collaborates with other groups within GCSC and JLU, or the university library in organising exhibitions and talks.


Feel free to contact us if you want to learn more about active members and participation modalities.


  • Contact

Aleksandra Sadowska ()

Ziling Song ()


  • Website


  • Participating scholars

Antweiler, Katrin

Arias-Arostegui, Enrique Alfredo

Brigard, Juan

Louw, Louise

Stendebach, Annika

Thaler, Miriam

Vargas-Lopez, Richard Damian