The importance of personal memory on Remembrance Day

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In our digital age, we have increasingly outsourced memory to electronic devices. Without technology, many of us no longer remember where we need to be most of the time, and find it hard to keep track of phone numbers or birthdays. We are living through a profound shift in the practice of memory. Nonetheless, there remains something significant about what and how humans remember. On Nov. 11, an annual international day of remembrance, it is worth reflecting on the changing nature of memory. 

This piece, written by former PWIAS Director Philippe Tortell (Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences), Wall Scholar Mark Turin (Anthropology), and Wall Associate Margot Young (Peter A. Allard School of Law) explores how memory can provide a powerful tool as we seek to address humanity’s most intractable political, sociological and environmental problems.

Edited by the same scholars who wrote this piece, a year ago, the Peter Wall Institute published Memory (UBC Press), a collection of essays that ask readers to think creatively and deeply about notions of memory – its composition and practices – and the ways that memory is transmitted, recorded, and distorted through time and space. Order a copy here

Memory is also available for free through JSTOR via their open access book portal. Each chapter can be read online, downloaded, printed, or shared. Discover diverse perspectives on the idea of memory here.