1. bookVolume 29 (2008): Issue 2 (November 2008)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2001-5119
First Published
01 Mar 2013
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Popular Cultural Memory

Published Online: 14 Feb 2017
Volume & Issue: Volume 29 (2008) - Issue 2 (November 2008)
Page range: 261 - 273
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2001-5119
First Published
01 Mar 2013
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Conventions of genres, types and icons of popular culture are the shared knowledge of media audiences. Becoming acquainted with them through the reception of media texts resembles a socialisation process in its own right: It constitutes a community of media readers. The context knowledge they share is their popular cultural memory. On the level of the individual reading process, this context knowledge then provides the necessary guiding lines for understanding the connotative dimensions of a popular media text.

Popular cultural memory is a repository of conventions and imagery that are continually reconstructed in contemporary popular culture. Drawing on J. Assmann’s writings on the functions and processes of collective memory, the present article develops popular cultural memory as a concept to describe the workings of context knowledge for media texts, while taking into consideration both the macrolevel of audience communities and the microlevel of the individual reading process.

The comics series Fables by Bill Willingham (NY: DC Comics Vertigo, 2003-) will provide the example through which the article explores the functions of popular cultural memory in media texts, which can take shapes as different as the identification of genre, the stabilisation of intertextual reference chains or the creation of round characters and complex reflexivity.

Keywords

Avery, G. (1995) Russian Fairy Tales. New York: Knopf. Illustrated by Ivan Bilibin.Search in Google Scholar

Cruikshank, G. (1854) George Cruikshank’s Fairy Library. London: Bogue. Illustrated by George Cruikshank.Search in Google Scholar

Grimm, J.L.C. & Grimm, W.C. (1993[1819]) Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Ware: Wordsworth Classics. Illustrated by Walter Crane.Search in Google Scholar

Grimm, J.L.C. (2001 [1819-1832]) Kinder- und Hausmärchen. Gesamtausgabe. (Collected Fairy Tales) 3 Vols. Reclam: Stuttgart.Search in Google Scholar

Lang, A. (1897) The Pink Fairy Book. London: Longmans, Green. Illustrated by Henry J. Ford.Search in Google Scholar

Perrault, C. (2006 [1694/1695/1697]) Contes. (Tales) Paris: Classiques de Poche. Illustrated by Gustave Doré.Search in Google Scholar

Rackham, A. (1974 [reprint]) Fairy Tales from Many Lands. New York: Studio Book. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham.Search in Google Scholar

Willingham, B. et al. (2003) Fables 1: Legends in Exile. New York: DC Comics Vertigo.Search in Google Scholar

Willingham, B. et al. (2005) Fables 5: The Mean Seasons. New York: DC Comic Vertigo.Search in Google Scholar

Willingham, B. et al. (2005) Fables 6: Homelands. New York: DC Comics Vertigo.Search in Google Scholar

Willingham, B. et al. (2006) Fables 7: Arabian Nights (and Days). New York: DC Comics Vertigo.Search in Google Scholar

Willingham, B. et al. (2007) Fables 9: Sons of Empire. New York: DC Comics Vertigo.Search in Google Scholar

Willingham, B. & Sturges M. et al. (2007) Jack of Fables 1: The (Nearly) Great Escape. New York: DC Comics Vertigo.Search in Google Scholar

Assmann, A. (1998) ‘Kanonforschung als Provokation der Literaturwissenschaft’ (Canon Research as a Challenge in Literary Studies) van Heydebrand, R. (ed.) Kanon Macht Kultur: Theoretische, historische und soziale Aspekte ästhetischer Kanonbildungen. Stuttgart: Metzler.10.1007/978-3-476-05564-4_3Search in Google Scholar

Assmann, A. (2004) ‘Zur Mediengeschichte des kulturellen Gedächtnisses’ (On the Media History of Cultural Memory) Erll, A. & Nünning, A. (eds.) Medien des kollektiven Gedächtnisses - Konstruktivität, Historizität, Kulturspezifität. Berlin: de Gruyter.Search in Google Scholar

Assmann, A. & Assmann, J. (1987) ‘Kanon und Zensur’ (Canon and Censorship), in Assmann, A. & Assmann, J. (eds.) Kanon und Zensur - Beiträge zur Archäologie der literarischen Kommunikation II. München: Fink.Search in Google Scholar

Assmann, J. (1988) ‘Kollektives Gedächtnis und kulturelle Identität’ (Collective Memory and Cultural Identity), in Assmann, J. & Hölscher, T. (eds.) Kultur und Gedächtnis. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Search in Google Scholar

Assmann, J. (1992) Das kulturelle Gedächtnis: Schrift, Erinnerung und politische Identität in frühen Hochkulturen. (Cultural Memory. Writing, Memory and Political Identity in Early Civilisations). München: Beck.10.17104/9783406703409Search in Google Scholar

Assmann, J. (1995) ‘Collective Memory and Cultural Identity’, New German Critique 65 (Spring/Summer): 125-133.10.2307/488538Search in Google Scholar

Assmann, J. (2005) ‘Der Begriff des kulturellen Gedächtnisses’ (The Term Cultural Memory), in Dreyer, T. & Euler, E. (eds.) Kulturelles Gedächtnis im 21. Jahrhundert. Karlsruhe: Universitätsverlag.Search in Google Scholar

Barthes, R. (1993 [1956]) ‘Mythologies, suivi de Le Mythe, aujourd’hui’ (Mythologies; followed by Myth, Today), in Marty, É. (ed.) OEuvres complètes. Vol 1. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.Search in Google Scholar

Barthes, R. (1988 [1973]) ‘Textual Analysis of a Tale by Edgar Allen Poe’, in Barthes, R. The Semiotic Challenge. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Search in Google Scholar

Bottigheimer, R. (1988) ‘The Face of Evil’, Fabula 29: 326-341.10.1515/fabl.1988.29.1.326Search in Google Scholar

Erll, A. (2003) Gedächtnisromane. Literatur über den Ersten Weltkrieg als Medium englischer und deutscher Erinnerungskulturen in den 1920er Jahren. (Memory Novels: Literature about the First World War as a Medium of English and German Cultures of Memory in the 1920s). Trier, WVT.Search in Google Scholar

Erll, A. (2004) ‘Reading Literature as Collective Texts’, in Bode, C., Domsch, S. & Sauer, H. (eds.) Anglistentag 2003 München: Proceedings. Trier: WVT.Search in Google Scholar

Erll, A. & Nünning, A. (2006) ‘Concepts and Methods for the Study of Literature and/as Cultural Memory’, in Nünning, A., Gymnich, M. & Sommer, R. (eds.) Literature and Memory: Theoretical Paradigms - Genres - Functions. Tübingen: Narr.Search in Google Scholar

Gadamer, Hans-Georg. (1965 [1960]) Wahrheit und Methode. (Truth and Method). Tübingen: Mohr.Search in Google Scholar

Gedi, N. & Elam, Y. (1996) ‘Collective Memory - What is it?’, History & Memory 8 (1) : 30-50.Search in Google Scholar

Gombrich, E. H. (1970) Aby Warburg: An Intellectual Biography. Oxford: Phaidon.Search in Google Scholar

Halbwachs, M. (1952 [1925]) Les cadres sociaux de la mémoire. (The Social Frames of Memory). Paris: Presses universitaires de France.Search in Google Scholar

Halbwachs, M. (1950) La mémoire collective. (Collective memory) Electronical edition: http://classiques.uqac.ca/classiques/Halbwachs_maurice/memoire_collective/memoire_collective.pdf (retrieved 23/01/2008)Search in Google Scholar

Hall, S. (1980) ‘Encoding/decoding’, in Hall, S., Hobson, D., Lowe, A. & Willis, P. (eds.) Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers in Cultural Studies, 1972-1979. London: Unwin Hyman.Search in Google Scholar

Kansteiner, W. (2002) ‘Finding Meaning in Memory: A Methodological Critique of Collective Memory Studies’, History & Theory 41 (May): 179-197.10.1111/0018-2656.00198Search in Google Scholar

Kansteiner, W. (2004) ‘Postmoderner Historismus - das kollektive Gedächtnis als neue Paradigma der Kulturwissenschaften’ (Postmodern Historicism - Collective Memory as New Paradigm of Kulturwissenschaften), in Jaeger, F. & Straub, J. (eds.) Handbuch der Kulturwissenschaften. Vol. 2: Paradigma und Disziplinen. Stuttgart: Metzler.Search in Google Scholar

Linke, G. (2003) Populärkultur als kulturelles Gedächtnis: Eine vergleichende Studie zu zeitgenössischen britischen und amerikanischen popular romances der Verlagsgruppe Harlequin Mills & Boon. (Popular Culture as Cultural Memory: A Comparative Studie of Contemporary British and American Popular Romances of Harlequin Mills & Boon). Heidelberg: Winter.Search in Google Scholar

Neumann, B. (2005) ‘Literatur, Erinnerung, Identität’ (Literature, Memory, Identity), in Erll, A. & Nünning, A. (eds.) Gedächtniskonzepte der Literaturwissenschaft: Theoretische Grundlegung und Anwendungsperspektiven. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2005.Search in Google Scholar

Nora, P. (1989) ‘Between Memory and History: Les lieux de mémoire’, Representations 26 (Spring): 7-24.10.2307/2928520Search in Google Scholar

Olick, J.K. (1999) ‘Collective Memory: The Two Cultures’, Sociological Theory 17 (3): 333-348.10.1111/0735-2751.00083Search in Google Scholar

Panofsky, E. (1979 [1932/1964]) ‘Ikonographie und Ikonologie’ (Iconography and Iconology), in Kaemmerling, E. (ed.) Ikonographie und Ikonologie: Theorien, Entwicklung, Probleme. Bildende Kunst als Zeichensystem. Vol. 1. Köln: DuMont.Search in Google Scholar

Patten, R.L. (1988) ‘George Cruikshank’s Grimm Humor’, in Möller, J. (ed.) Imagination on a Long Rein: English Literature Illustrated. Marburg: Jonas.Search in Google Scholar

Posner, R. (1991) ’Kultur als Zeichensystem: Zur semiotischen Explikation kulturwissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe’ (Culture as a System of Signs: On The Semiotic Explanation of Basic Terms of Kulturwissenschaft), in Assmann, A. & Harth, D. (eds.) Kultur als Lebenswelt und Monument. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer.Search in Google Scholar

Reichardt, R. (2002) ‘Bild- und Mediengeschichte’ (The History of Images and Media), in Eibach, J. & Lottes, G. (eds.) Kompass der Geschichtswissenschaft. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.Search in Google Scholar

Robertson, R. (1992) Globalisation: Social Theory and Global Culture. London: Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Schmidt, S. J. (1992) ‘Gedächtnisforschungen: Positionen, Probleme, Perspektiven’ (Memory Researches: Positions, Problems, Perspectives), in Schmidt, S. J. (ed.) Gedächtnis: Probleme und Perspektiven der interdisziplinären Gedächtnisforschung. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Search in Google Scholar

Warburg, A. (2000 [1929]) Der Bilderatlas Mnemosyne. (The Pictorial Atlas Mnemosyne). Berlin: Akademie Verlag.Search in Google Scholar

Wood, N. (1999) Vectors of Memory: Legacies of Trauma in Postwar Europe. Oxford & New York: Berg.Search in Google Scholar

Yates, F.A. (1966) The Art of Memory. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Zymner, R. (1998) ‘Anspielung und Kanon’ (Allusion and Canon), in von Heydebrand, R. (ed.) Kanon Macht Kultur: Theoretische, historische und soziale Aspekte ästhetischer Kanonbildungen. Stuttgart: Metzler. 10.1007/978-3-476-05564-4_2Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo