Sociology of Memory

A.Y. 2019/2020
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/07
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course is aimed at providing a critical understanding of the main theories and methodologies used in the study of memory as a social phenomenon and, in particular, the links existing between memory and society and the relationships that social groups establish not only with their past, but also with their present and future. Moreover, it intends to provide suitable tools, in the field of social sciences, for addressing the mechanisms of remembering and oblivion that mostly affect contemporary societies, focusing in particular on the relationships between memory and violence through the analysis of case-studies. This will allow students to become familiar with the language and theories developed in this field and to develop capacities aimed at providing a critical analysis of the topics addressed (through oral and written presentations and team-work).
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: at the end of the course students will acquire knowledge and useful tools aimed at understanding, from a social, political and cultural perspective, the complex links existing between memory and society, especially in the Western context;

Applying knowledge and understanding: knowledge acquired will be applied in the study of particular empirical cases dealing with the relationship between violence and memory and, in particular, the main processes of collective memory removal and oblivion construction which have involved Europe from colonialism onwards.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Third trimester
Course syllabus
The course deals with the links existing between memory and society and the relationships that social groups establish not only with their past, but also with their present and future, focussing on the mechanisms of remembering and oblivion that mostly affect contemporary societies. After an introductory part aimed at familiarizing students with the main conceptual tools used by social theory in the study of memory and the field of memory studies, attention will be devoted to the links existing between memory, violence and trauma, particularly in European contemporary history. In this regard, the special part of the programme will address some traumatic social, political and cultural events which have marked the process of elaboration, selection and/or removal of past at public level, such as war, colonialism, the nexus existing between Nazism, Fascism and racism, terrorism and the strategy of tension, mafia violence and Mediterranean migrations.
Prerequisites for admission
No specific prerequisites are requested.
Teaching methods
The course foresees frontal introductory lessons, seminars and discussions with experts and observers and students' active participation through discussions, group work, presentations and papers.
Teaching Resources
For the general part of the programme, students attending the course should refer to the following texts:
- Alexander, J. C., "Una teoria sociale del trauma culturale", in J. C. Alexander, Trauma. La rappresentazione sociale del dolore, Meltemi, Roma, 2018, pp. 35-71;
- Cavalli, A., Memoria, voce dell'Enciclopedia delle Scienze Sociali, 1996 (disponibile in pdf sul sito Ariel del corso);
- Jedlowski, P., Memorie. Temi e problemi della sociologia della memoria del XX secolo, in Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, 3, 2001, pp. 373-392 (disponibile in pdf sul sito Ariel del corso);
- Halbwachs, M., "Memoria individuale e memoria collettiva", in T. Grande, O. Affuso (a cura di), M come memoria. La memoria nella teoria sociale, Liguori Editore, Napoli, 2012, pp. 40-52 (disponibile in pdf sul sito Ariel del corso);
- Tota, A. L., Luchetti, L., Hagen, T. (a cura di), Sociologie della memoria. Verso un'ecologia del passato, Carocci, Roma, 2018 (da p. 13 a p. 139);

Moreover, for the special part of the programme, students attending the course are required to choose 1 topic, among the 6 listed below, which they will focus on. The bibliography related to each of the 6 topics is available on the Ariel web-page of this course. The 6 topics taddressed in the special part of the programme are:
1. Wars, memory and collective identities in Europe;
2. Colonialism and returns of memory in post-colonial Europe;
3. Antisemitism, Shoah and modernity;
4. Otherness, old and new racisms and historical memory;
5. Mafia violence, strategy of tension and collective memory;
6. Mediterranean migrations, memories, identities.

For the general part of the programme, students not attending the course should refer to the following texts:
- Cavalli, A., Memoria, voce dell'Enciclopedia delle Scienze Sociali, 1996 (disponibile in pdf sul sito Ariel del corso);
- Jedlowski, P., Memorie. Temi e problemi della sociologia della memoria del XX secolo, in Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, 3, 2001, pp. 373-392 (disponibile in pdf sul sito Ariel del corso);
- Jedlowski, P., "La memoria come costruzione sociale. Sulla sociologia della memoria di Maurice Halbwachs" in P. Jedlowski, Memoria, esperienza e modernità, Franco Angeli, Milano, 1898, pp. 54-78 (disponibile in pdf sul sito Ariel del corso);
- Halbwachs, M., "Memoria individuale e memoria collettiva", in T. Grande, O. Affuso (a cura di), M come memoria. La memoria nella teoria sociale, Liguori Editore, Napoli, 2012, pp. 40-52 (disponibile in pdf sul sito Ariel del corso);
- Rampazi, M., "Le inquietudini della memoria", in M. Rampazi, A.L. Tota (a cura di), Il linguaggio del passato. Memoria collettiva, mass media e discorso pubblico, Carocci, Roma, 2013, pp. 1-11 (disponibile in pdf sul sito Ariel del corso);
- Tota, A. L., Luchetti, L., Hagen, T. (a cura di), Sociologie della memoria. Verso un'ecologia del passato, Carocci, Roma, 2018 (da p. 13 a p. 139);

Moreover, for the special part of the programme, students not attending the course should refer to the following text:
- Alexander, J., Trauma. La rappresentazione sociale del dolore, Meltemi, Roma, 2018.
Assessment methods and Criteria
For students attending the course there will be 1 written pre-exam which foresees 3 open questions dealing with the general part of the programme which will be evaluated along the scale 0-30. Moreover, it is foreseen their active participation during lessons, seminars and meetings with experts, group discussions and a final paper focussing on 1 of the 6 topics addressed in the special part of the programme. The final grade (0-30) will be achieved considering the outcomes of the written pre-exam, the participation to group discussions/oral presentations and the final paper.

For students not attending the course there will be a written final exam consisting in 5 open questions dealing with both the general and special part of the programme which will be evaluated along the scale 0-30.

Both students attending and not attending the course are required to show the achievement of an adequate understanding of the key-concepts, authors and methods of sociology of memory and the topics addressed in the special part of the programme. The use of a proper language and the ability to link together different contents and topics will be particularly appreciated.
SPS/07 - GENERAL SOCIOLOGY - University credits: 9
Lessons: 60 hours
Professor: Massari Monica
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