Anna Reading, Tamar Katriel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Our name is humankind, not humancruel. Yet, it is sometimes difficult to recognize our kindness with war memorials that dominate public spaces and a relentless culture of human atrocity and death depicted 24 hours a day on world news. Is it then that world cultures remember violence and trauma but not human resilience, struggle and agency? Or is it that the widespread memorialization of war exploits and heroism has been so dominant in the commemoration of valuable pasts as to completely submerge the cultural memories of struggle and agency in nonviolent1 contexts? Certainly the field of memory studies has given a great deal of emphasis to examining the cultural memories of war and atrocity whereas the cultural memories of nonviolent struggle remain little examined. Implicit in this foregrounding of violence and trauma is a concern with violence in the form of warfare on the one hand (with its ever-present potential for heroic action) and with victimhood and lack of agency on the other hand. This book foregrounds an alternative line of memory work, one in which the linkage between struggle and violence is disrupted and agency comes to be associated with the rejection of violence. This is not to deny the significance of memories of war and atrocity as these are culturally inscribed by both perpetrators and victims in various modes and sites of enactment. It is, however, an attempt to call scholarly attention to cultural arenas in which human agency and moral vision find their expression in nonviolent action that transforms social landscapes and remakes human histories.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave Macmillan Memory Studies
EditorsBernhard Forchtner, Colin Harvey, Christoffer Kølvraa, Red Chidgey, David Torell, Hart Cohen, Irit Dekel, Michelle Caswell, Ornit Shani, Susan C. Pearce, Yifat Gutman
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9781137032720
ISBN (Print)9781137032713
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Memory Studies
ISSN (Print)2634-6257
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6265

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Anna Reading and Tamar Katriel.


  • Collective Memory
  • Communicative Memory
  • Memory Activism
  • Memory Study
  • Video Game

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language


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