"Theories of Memory" provides a comprehensive introduction to the rapidly expanding field of memory studies. It is a resource through which students of literature will be able both to broaden their knowledge of contemporary theoretical perspectives and to trace the development of ideas about memory from the classical period to the present.
The reader is organized into three parts:
Part I, Beginnings, is historical in scope. Its three sections, Classical and Early Modern Ideas of Memory, Enlightenment and Romantic Memory, and Memory and Late Modernity, lay out key psychological, rhetorical, and cultural concepts of memory in the work of a range of thinkers from Plato to Walter Benjamin.
Part II, Positionings, identifies three major perspectives through which memory has been defined and debated more recently: Collective Memory, Jewish Memory Discourse, and Trauma.
Part III, Identities, examines the key role of memory in contemporary constructions of identity under the headings of Gender, Race/Nation, and Diaspora.