Special Lecture for Students: Mediation on the Geography of Memory

| February 16, 2015

 

Geography of Memory-2

 

 

On May 14, 2014, Joseph C. Daniels, Chief Executive of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, explained its purpose: “…. To make sure that our children’s children’s children know what this country went through on 9/11” (NYT, May 21, 2014, p. B3). Through the interplay between the memorial and museum, the public is to remember the event through the icons, imagery and language to realize the trauma experienced personally and collectively. Like other museums, it is a showplace of accumulated objects, personal narratives, and a reaffirmation of collection resilience. Much of the scholarly focus on memory draws from history even though memory occurs through the physicality of place. Yet memory has as much a fragile relationship within a geographic framework as it does with history as memory changes through both space and time, with the process not fixed and highly contested. How do we consider the pedagogical purpose of such institutions without realizing the significance geography holds to memory? What is to be remembered within the contestation and disagreement? How does geography affect what we are expected to remember? The purpose of this paper is to consider, with the NS11MM serving as a case example, our pedagogical obligations to teacher education.