Materiality of Memory: The case of the Remembrance Poppy

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  • Kyoko Murakami
This chapter highlights the importance of materiality in memory studies with a focus on the remembrance poppy, an artifact canonical to the practice of commemoration of war and conflict in Britain. A traditional psychological approach to studying the artifact as a decontextualized subject seems to resort to a simplistic representational model of the object. When used in an art installation in a heritage site, it creates a perceptual field of experiencing the past in an extraordinary manner. This chapter argues that when studying phenomena of collective remembering, it is important to consider the interplay between discourse, materials, body, and environment as the integrated whole. The argument is underpinned by the material view of remembering along with the concept of semiotic mediation. The analysis illustrates the significance of the artifact to the ritual performance and addresses how the artifact can create a semiotic field for meaning construction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Culture & Memory
EditorsBrady Wagoner
Number of pages16
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication dateOct 2017
ISBN (Electronic)9780190230814
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

ID: 165185381