Memory, and Contested Memory

Memory Studies at University of Rome, III. Professoressa Annalisa Tota and her team at Roma III are specialists in ‘technologies of memory’, by which they mean cultural media. They study how memory is always collective – it takes shape in relation to available cultural images, narratives, and structured arrangements of sensory materials – such as music. They also study how memory is selective, how somethings are foregrounded, others backgrounded. This selectivity – including the question of what there is ‘to be remembered’ – is always political. It is often also Political. For example, Tota is especially interested in traumatic memories and in when what we know and how, at times what we know and/or remember, cannot be openly stated but needs to be coded aesthetically – as ‘fiction’, as ‘art’, as ‘music’. (see her magnificent article, “I know, but I have no proof”.) We presented some of the theoretical issues relating to music, action and time to a group of students and staff in December and this was followed by useful discussions about remembering, forgetting and the role of the arts, specifically music.

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