When people hear the term »collective memory work« first associations are often connected to grand historical events and their preservation in the cultural memory of a nation. This book is about something else: Collective Memory-Work (capitals because it depicts the proper name of the method) as a method of learning and research. Central for this method is the connection and the reciprocity between individuals and society. It is based on the collective work with individual memories. It requires a group in which the individual experiences of the group members in relation to a shared topic are taken as starting point to understand modes of societalization. This term depicts an enhanced understanding of the process of becoming (and remaining) a member of a given historically and spatially located society. Based on a distinction that is made in the German language it relates to the process in which individual actors are inter- and transacting with a given socio-historical environment, and by doing so become this particular person within these particular circumstances. Understanding this interwovenness is at the heart of Collective Memory-Work.
Over the last three years Robert Hamm held a Marie-Sklodowska-Fellowship at the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University. In a cooperation with the Institute of critical theory (InkriT e.V., Berlin) he studied Collective Memory-Work for its theoretical background, but also in practical applications with a great variety of groups. In his recent book he attends to the potential of Collective Memory-Work as a method of learning. Thanks to the support of the IRC and the EU-Horizon 2020 program the book could be published in an open access ebook version. See link here: The potential of Collective Memory-Work as a method of learning. Applications and Adaptations. The book is written in highly accessible language with the intention to overcome the unhealthy split of 'theory' and 'practice'.
As another result of Robert's fellowship a second open access ebook will also be available from November on. In the edited Reader Collective Memory-Work a large collection of essays is compiled that depicts the wide ranging scope of discussions of method and methodology of Collective Memory-Work over a period of 40 years.