Places of Public Memory

Places of Public Memory : The Rhetoric of Museums and Memorials

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Though we live in a time when memory seems to be losing its hold on communities, memory remains central to personal, communal, and national identities. And although popular and public discourses from speeches to films invite a shared sense of the past, official sites of memory such as memorials, museums, and battlefields embody unique rhetorical principles. `Places of Public Memory: The Rhetoric of Museums and Memorials' is a sustained and rigorous consideration of the intersections of memory, place, and rhetoric. From the mnemonic systems inscribed upon ancient architecture to the roadside accident memorials that line America's highways, memory and place have always been deeply interconnected. This book investigates the intersections of memory and place through nine original essays written by leading memory studies scholars from the fields of rhetoric, media studies, organisational communication, history, performance studies, and English. The essays address, among other subjects, the rhetorical strategies of those vying for competing visions of a 9/11 memorial at New York City's Ground Zero; rhetorics of resistance embedded in the plans for an expansion of the National Civil Rights Museum; representations of nuclear energy-both as power source and weapon-in Cold War and post-Cold War museums; and tours and tourism as acts of performance. By focusing on "official" places of memory, the collection causes readers to reflect on how nations and local communities remember history and on how some voices and views are legitimated and others are minimised or erased.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 282 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 589.67g
  • Alabama, United States
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 0817317066
  • 9780817317065

Review quote

"This is a very interesting and diverse set of essays in the field of public history, which focuses our attention on fascinating case studies that have not been widely examined before. That alone makes this collection of interest to a broad readership."

--Journal of American History Normal0falsefalsefalseMicrosoftInternetExplorer4

"Places of Public Memory, makes a compelling argument that rhetorical scholarship on public memory has yet to attend sufficiently to memory's material manifestations and the ways in which they shape affective experience. . . . Dickinson, Blair, and Ott offer an exhaustive literature review-useful to anyone interested in the study of public memory-to show that attention to the materiality of remembrance and the ways such materiality structures affective experience will significantly expand our current understanding of the rhetoric of public memory. . . . The eight essays comprising this volume constitute a real contribution to the study of rhetoric and public memory."--Rhetoric & Public Affairs
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About John Louis Lucaites

Greg Dickinson is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at ColoradoStateUniversity.

Carole Blair is Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina.

Brian L. Ott is Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Colorado Denver and author of The Small Screen: How Television Equips Us to Live in the Information Age.
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Rating details

33 ratings
3.6 out of 5 stars
5 24% (8)
4 24% (8)
3 45% (15)
2 0% (0)
1 6% (2)
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