Memory Studies

Memory studies are the interdisciplinary investigation of how people – as individuals, groups, nations and cultures – remember, preserve and manage, as well as forget and repress, the past. It examines political memory as an active driver of contemporary change and conflict in the present, and approaches religion as cultural memory. It is linked to issues that relate to cultural heritage, including museums and other institutions for the preservation of memory and history.

Memory is an important dimension in postcolonial studies, migration studies and the study of indigenous peoples’ situations, based on the burning contemporary issues of how identity and community are preserved or changed over time. Peace and conflict research has increasingly come to show an interest in the politics of memory, because how a traumatic past is managed has vital importance for a potential peace.

The Memory Studies research platform aims to become a national and international hub for memory studies by building networks for research cooperation, internally and externally to the university. The ambition is to generate research that makes important theoretical, empirical and methodological contributions to this expanding international research field. The platform will also create an infrastructure of seminars, reports, educational initiatives and public debates.

The platform builds upon research environments at the university that are well established in national and international memory studies’ contexts. It includes aspects from the social sciences, humanities and aesthetics, and aims to stimulate interdisciplinary cooperation between researchers involved in memory studies in a range of subjects: aesthetics, archaeology, art history, comparative literature, cultural studies, ethnology, gender studies, history, history of ideas, media and communication studies, philosophy and political science.

The research platform has a specific focus on aesthetic expression and artistic creativity in relation to the critical examination of the past. Oral history is another important focus for memory studies at the university, as are memory technologies such as writing, art, archives and digital systems. Research about cultural heritage and the politics of memory at the university specialises in the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe, although research that relates to other areas is conducted and welcomed.

Steering group


Yuliya Yurchuk

PhD, Senior Lecturer

Historical and Contemporary Studies +46 8 608 48 77

Hans Ruin

Professor, Programme Coordinator

Culture and Education +46 8 608 45 86

What’s on

Södertörn University will expand its collaboration with other community actors, such as museums and art galleries, via the Memory Studies research platform. We will also participate in public debate on complex issues that relate to how the past influences and guides the present. The platform’s events will be published below.


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