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Reading Memory Sites Through Signs

Hiding into Landscape

322 pages
Amsterdam University Press
What can space tell us about our past? Which stories do memory sites narrate? Which memories do they transmit? And, more importantly, how can we read their meanings? Semiotics can provide us with a homogeneous, shareable and theoretically sound methodology to analyse space within a comparable and common frame of reference for scholars of memory studies and traumatic heritage, as well as for historians, architects and museum curators. The book describes in clear and understandable language the main semiotic concepts that can be used to analyse space, illustrating them with carefully chosen case studies of memory spaces – monuments, museums, post-war urban restoration, filmed and virtual space – in order to show the applicability and efficacy of a semiotic methodology.
Author Bio
Cristina Demaria is Professor of Semiotics at the Department of the Arts of the University of Bologna, where she teaches semiotics of conflict, gender studies and semiotics of social sciences. She has worked extensively on traumatic memories and their representation, on visual culture and documentary films, and on gender studies and post-feminism. Her latest publications include Post-Conflict Cultures. A Reader (2021), and Reading Memory Sites Through Signs: Hiding into Landscape (2023). Patrizia Violi is an Alma Mater Professor at the University of Bologna and the founder of ‘TraMe - Centre for the Semiotic Study of Memory’ at the same university. She was director of the ‘Centro Internazionale di Studi Umberto Eco’ and PI of various European funded projects on trauma and urban space. She has published internationally on the relationship between trauma and memory, with a specific focus on Chile, Argentina and Colombia. Her latest publications include Landscapes of Memory: Trauma, Space, History (2017), and Reading Memory Sites Through Signs: Hiding into Landscape (2023).