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Communicating Memory & History

Edited By Nicole Maurantonio and David W. Park

Communicating Memory & History takes as its mission the job of giving communication history its full due in the study of memory. Taking three keywords—communication, history, and memory—representing related, albeit at times hostile, fields of inquiry as its point of departure, this book asks how the interdisciplinary field of memory studies can be productively expanded through the work of communication historians. Across the chapters of this book, contributors employ methods ranging from textual analysis to reception studies to prompt larger questions about how the past can be alternately understood, contested, and circulated.

Communicating Memory & History is ideal for teaching, including case studies that elaborate different ways to approach issues in memory studies. While some foundational knowledge would be useful, it is possible to use the text without extensive knowledge of the literature. This book is of particular interest to professors, graduate students, and advanced undergraduate students of communication and media studies, as well as scholars and students in cultural studies, history, and sociology—disciplines where one finds steady consideration of issues related to communication, communication history, and memory.

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6. Badna Naaref (We Want to Know): The Politics of Movement and Memory in “Postwar” Beirut (Erin E. Cory)

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6. Badna Naaref (We Want to Know): The Politics of Movement and Memory in “Postwar” Beirut

ERIN E. CORY1

In the years following Lebanon’s civil war (1975–1991), Lebanese have grappled with the memory of the conflict and its competing narratives. Efforts to remember the conflict have taken a range of forms: from cultural artifacts and performances—plays, films, photography—that address individual and shared memories of the war, to more formal initiatives that deal with particular aspects of the conflicts and their legacies. Many groups focus specifically on the war’s missing and disappeared, especially given the withholding of information by the Lebanese state and outside actors involved in the war. Some organizations were founded and took shape during or just after the war, as is the case with the Committee for the Families of the Missing and Kidnapped in Lebanon (1982) and SOLIDE (Support of Lebanese in Detention and Exile, 1990), while more recent efforts include ACT for the Disappeared (2010).

The secrecy around the issue of the missing and disappeared has real repercussions in Lebanon, producing a web of silence that impacts both intergenerational and intercommunal communication. In Lebanon, boundaries have been drawn around what can and cannot be said by or shared by the state, between generations, and between communities. Importantly, this secrecy is not just discursive but also, because the remains of Lebanon’s missing exist in public space, spatial. Moreover, with the presence...

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