By Sara Jones (auth.)
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Additional resources for The Media of Testimony: Remembering the East German Stasi in the Berlin Republic
7). Thus, despite approaching the question of mediated memory from diverse disciplinary and/or theoretical perspectives, Erll, Zierold, Wertsch, Welzer and van Dijck agree that social conventions structure how (and indeed what) individuals remember and that a signiﬁcant aspect of these conventions is the medium in which personal memories are presented. Moreover, the form that memory takes is inﬂuenced by previous mediations and, in particular, their narrative structures, which, in turn, draw from culturally accepted patterns of remembrance.
4; Zierold, 2006, p. 137). We can understand this using the model of reception outlined by Stuart Hall (1980, see also Hall, 1994) in his seminal essay ‘Encoding/Decoding’. Both the moment of production of meaningful discourse – the encoding of the past as a narrative – and the moment of reception – the decoding of this discourse by the reader – are determinate. Moreover, both moments are structured by the ‘dominant cultural order’ and ‘dominant or preferred meanings’, which, in turn, ‘have the whole social order embedded in them as a set of meanings, practices and beliefs’ (Hall, 1980, p.
85), this may promote an affective understanding of the past in the audience, but it also risks a passive response by offering ‘closed histories’ that remove the opportunity for reﬂection. Other scholars are, however, more optimistic regarding the potential of emotion, or the ‘authenticity of affect’. Morris-Suzuki (2005, p. 25) considers it important to ‘recognize the affective dimensions, as well as the interpretive dimensions, of history [ . . ] the way that our knowledge of the past engages with our emotions and identity’.
The Media of Testimony: Remembering the East German Stasi in the Berlin Republic by Sara Jones (auth.)