Memory and Culture

Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Memory and Culture

  • Host University

    Universidade Católica Portuguesa

  • Location

    Lisbon, Portugal

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    This course aims to stimulate a critical reflection about the relationship between memory and culture. In addition to providing an overview over the most important theoretical approaches to the cultural dimensions of collective and individual memory, it promotes the problematization of the relation between past and present through the analysis of various cultural artefacts (cinema, texts, images, monuments, and websites, among others). Special emphasis will be given to the problematization of memory as modality of our relationship with the past, the role of cultural artefacts as memory media, and the ethical and political implications of memory in the present and future.  


    At the end of the semester, students should be able to:  

    ▪ characterize different definitions of the cultural dimensions of collective and individual memory  

    ▪ critically analyse the role and potentialities of cultural artefacts in the context of cultural processes of memory

    ▪ problematise the relation between memory and culture particularly regarding questions about (i) individual and collective memory, (ii) trauma, and (iii) individual and collective responsibility

    ▪ reflect critically about the role of memory in contemporary society based on the analysis of specific cultural artefacts. 

    Course content:

    ▪ Introduction to different theoretical approaches to the cultural dimensions of memory: (i) introduction to central concepts, (ii) overview over Memory Studies as discipline

    ▪ Problematization of the relationship between memory and culture

    1. Memory and identity I: nation/nationalism

    2. Individual memory and culture

    3. Memory and trauma

    4. Memory and mediatization

    5. Memory and identity II: eurocentrism, post-colonialism and transcultural movements

    6. Memory and responsibility 


    The classes combine reading and discussion of theoretical texts with the analysis of cultural artefacts/objects. Students will have the opportunity to participate actively in the discussion of texts and the analysis of artefacts/objects. They will have the opportunity to work in group and present their results in class.    


    Evaluation is continuous and includes the following components, with respective weightings: 

    Participation in class 20%

    Oral presentation of a review of a cultural artifact/object of choice (individual or in group) 20%

    Review of a cultural artifact/object (written text) 20%

    Final written test 40% 


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.


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