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Working the PastNarrative and Institutional Memory$
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Charlotte Linde

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140286

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140286.001.0001

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Occasions for Institutional Remembering

Occasions for Institutional Remembering

(p.44) 3 Occasions for Institutional Remembering
Working the Past

Charlotte Linde

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses occasions for remembering. Occasions are a key issue for understanding how institutions work their past: they allow the study of remembering rather than the study of static representations of the past. An institution's narratives may be collected in an archive, but if this collection is rarely used, the narratives have no life of their own. Rather, it is necessary to discover the activities in which such representations are used. For an institution, remembering necessarily is a social event, involving at least two, and perhaps millions of people. Retelling and remembering of this sort require proper occasions. Without its proper occasion, a story rarely or never gets told. This chapter presents a taxonomy of the types of occasions for narrative, including events, places, memorials, and memory artifacts.

Keywords:   occasions for remembering, ethnography of narrative, memorials, monuments, museums conventions

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