Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
December 03, 1998
Relationship between memorials and social change examined
Can memorials such as parks and quilts help lead to social change? That is what researchers at the University of Guelph hope to learn through a collaborative community project.
The group will examine theories of memorializing and use their varied disciplinary backgrounds to analyze and document cultural memory and related issues.The goal is to better understand the social role of cultural memorializing. They also plan to develop an archive for academic and community purposes, and use the park as a tool for feminist community work.
"If you think about it, most public memorials are war memorials," said Belinda Leach, a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and member of the Cultural Memory Group. "But there are now different kinds of sites of cultural memory, like the AIDS quilt or the Holocaust museums. We're interested in that kind of memorializing, what it means for specific groups to engage in this kind of memory making, and the relationship between memory and social change."
"We are trying to get rid of the distinction between community and academics," said Christine Bold, Cultural Memory Group director and professor in the School of Literatures and Performance Studies in English. "We want to make academic work useful for the community and to take community thinking and experience seriously as academic work."
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada is supporting this study through a Strategic Partnership Development Grant.
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