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The Emotional Life of Contemporary Public Memorials

Towards a Theory of Temporary Memorials

Erika Doss

52 pages
Amsterdam University Press
From the commemoration of September 11
to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, recent
decades have witnessed a substantial
increase in the number of new public
memorials built in both Europe and the
United States. This volume considers the
contemporary explosion of public
commemoration in terms of changed
cultural and social practices of mourning,
memory, and public feeling. Positing
memorials as the physical and visual
embodiment of our affective responses to
loss, Erika Doss focuses especially on the memorial ephemera of flowers, candles,
balloons, and cards placed at sites of tragic
death in order to better comprehend
how grief is mediated in contemporary
commemorative cultures.
Author Bio
Erika Doss is professor and chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.