III Congreso Internacional Historia a Debate Santiago de Compostela

IV Congreso Internacional Historia a Debate
Santiago de Compostela, 15-19 de diciembre de 2010


Ponencias aceptadas

Mesa K. Historiadores y memoria histórica


Nancy Rose Hunt (University of Michigan, USA; Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, Germany)


Remembering and Africa


In African history, methodology was mixed up orality from the get-go. From the 1950s-1970s, oral sources were usually called oral tradition, and their collection related to documenting official, canonical, and sometimes less licit forms of memory about kings, spirits, founding figures, political forms, and reproduction. From the 1970s-mid-1990s, oral history had taken over, as had tape recorders, and 19th and 20th century social history. Not until the 1990s, did the positivism and romanticism of this kind of history through orality come under question, as memory debates became more salient. Since about 1999, historians of Africa have gone through a sea change wherein, simply puts, anything goes—at least in some quarters and especially where anthropological historians and historical anthropologists move. It is possible to identify several big waves in this: spatial memories as a way of making historical memory more concrete and ethnographic, based on the places that people point out to the researcher or their children or each other. A second, related wave is about historical memory in embodied practice: the body remembers, ritual remembers, performance remembers, etc. Both of these move away from words, narrative, voice. So too does the visual, and this has been a third wave with methodological and theoretical dimensions. I will try to take stock: what have these new forms of remembering or historical memory been about? who have been their audiences? What happens when academic memory conflicts with state-produced memory?

And when and how are African intellectuals and other figures based on the continent involved, and to what effect.

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