The Hiroshima memory complex

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The atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 is one of the most powerful global memories. While the literature on global memories has greatly expanded in recent decades, Hiroshima remains surprisingly understudied. In addressing this lacuna, this paper develops a new theoretical prism for the study of global memories. It argues that the Hiroshima memory cannot be understood in isolation, but rather as the hub in a broader memory complex. This complex is the result of symbolic dialogues that connect Hiroshima with such different events, situations, and memories as Nanjing, Pearl Harbor, the Cold War, and so on. The paper demonstrates how these dialogues have been forged, often in the context of substantial controversy. While distinctly sociological in orientation, the paper takes its main theoretical inspiration from cultural, literary, and history scholars such as Jan and Aleida Assmann, Sebastian Conrad, Astrid Erll, Ann Rigney, Michael Rothberg, Aby Warburg and Mikhael Bakhtin.

TidsskriftBritish Journal of Sociology
Sider (fra-til)81-95
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2020


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