Identifier

etd-04072014-155944

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Maurice Halbwachs first proposed a collective approach to memory in the early twentieth century, but the vast majority of subsequent scholarship investigates memory’s social properties from a theoretical point of view. This project instead proposes that memory functions as a social phenomenon in significant and real ways, primarily understood through the social relations that arise within social frameworks, which provide a structure against which people’s memories come together to form important memory-narratives that configure individual and social consciousness. Once people transform memory from individual thought-image into socially structured language, memory takes on social properties. Memory relies upon social frameworks to form and maintain memory-narratives, but also on sites and objects to create a more tangible connection to the past through such narratives. With the growth in such external memory in recent years, i.e. museums, memorials, etc., people cannot remember the past to the degree they once could. In other words, people have come to rely more on things than on people to reconstruct the past in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Consequently, people cannot remember the past to the extent they once did. Post-apocalyptic literature and film intervene by addressing the heightened anxiety people feel regarding the changing experience of memory. This project examines how such unique narrative provide the necessary spaces through which to better understand the social nature of memory, as well as the threat external memory imposes upon acts of remembering and forgetting. They utilize the imagined future space, one often devoid of people (social frame-works) and places (geographical signifiers) to show memory’s underlying social characteristics and how changes to social frameworks occasion changes to people’s mnemonic capability.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Coats, Lauren

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