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Decentering Commemorations: Literary, Cultural, Historical, and Political Celebrations across and beyond the British Isles

Abstract : At a time of crisis concerning Europe’s identity and ideals, commemorations are not only intended as a nation-building process. They can also be appropriated by various actors at national, regional, and local levels, such as cultural institutions, political parties and social media. Increasing mobility and instability trigger off tendencies to go back to the past, to search for one’s roots and to emphasise the importance of heritage. Governments and lobbies/corporations such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple use landmarks to impose their readings of political, cultural and literary events, while grassroot communities organise their own remembrance events or commemorate differently and sometimes more informally and spontaneously. The years 2018 and 2019 mark multiple anniversaries that will be commemorated transnationally, including the Armistice (1918) and the Treaty of Versailles (1919), the events of May 1968 in France, women’s suffrage in the UK (1918), the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), the release of the Beatles’ album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) or the Woodstock Festival (1969). This EJES issue explores why and how these historical events, cultural productions and literary figures will be remembered across Europe. It intends to investigate in what ways and to what extent these commemorations are transferred from one cultural space to another, across and beyond the British Isles. It will also examine their transformations in the contemporary digital age and the shift towards new forms of democratic participation. This volume includes articles dealing with transregional and/or transnational commemorations: •forms and modes of commemorating •commemoration as an expression of soft power or a means of empowerment •commemoration and technology in the digital age •commemoration and cultural policies •commemoration and hyphenated/conflicting identities (bi-nationals, and European nationals) in the UK due to Devolution and Brexit •posterity and the literary canon •literary and visual adaptations •publishing policies •commemorations as a way of asserting human rights
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02936262
Contributor : Céline Sabiron <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 11, 2020 - 10:17:07 AM
Last modification on : Friday, February 5, 2021 - 11:31:54 AM

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Céline Sabiron, Jeremy Tranmer. Decentering Commemorations: Literary, Cultural, Historical, and Political Celebrations across and beyond the British Isles. European Journal of English Studies, 2021, ⟨10.1080/13825577.2020.1844411⟩. ⟨hal-02936262⟩

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