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Open Access Introduction. On the Early Modernity of Modern Memory

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Introduction. On the Early Modernity of Modern Memory

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter of the book Memory before Modernity highlights and summarises what the insights presented in the individual chapters of this volume can contribute to an alternative view. It aims to show what the study of early modern memory practices has to offer to field of memory studies and history of memory as a whole. The essays are organized consciously around three themes that play a central role in the field of memory studies: the politics of memory, mediality and personal memory. We believe that in each of these areas, early modernists have much to learn from modern memory studies. The chapter also argues that early modern practices shed an unexpected light on many scholarly assumptions about modernity of modern memory. Most studies of memory politics have concerned themselves with the period after around 1800, when nationalism was in its heyday and traditions were being invented thick and fast.

Keywords: early modernists; memory politics; modern memory; nationalism



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