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"Return to Sender": Mapping memory journeys, 1914-18 [CMP Research Seminar]

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TS401

The Spark

East Park Terrace

United Kingdom

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ABOUT THIS SESSION

Archives offer a wealth of information and insight into the past, particularly when digitised and aggregated with metadata. Nonetheless, they remain collections of static objects or datasets, and in so doing lose much of their contextualisation. This is particularly the case with postcards, which are fundamentally intended as a flow of information. At the centenary of the First World War, interest in commemoration has increased alongside an awareness that any memory of the period is inherently secondary. This loss of direct experience mimics the loss of motion in archival artefacts such as postcards, which become isolated snapshots if cut off from their narratives. How, then, can we re-engage with this journey and reinsert the vital quality of movement into archives?

Return to Sender proposes an original, dynamic visualisation of the Postcards collection within the Europeana 1914-1918 thematic archive. This will involve the creation of an interactive website through digital mapping of the postcard archive’s metadata to plot the artefacts’ transnational movement and explore the resulting narratives of war and the memory thereof. This talk will discuss the context and development of the research project, as well as giving an interactive demonstration of an initial version of the platform.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Dr Elizabeth Benjamin is a Lecturer in French at Coventry University. Her research interests intersect visual culture, comparative aesthetics, and cultural memory, with a particular interest in the early twentieth century. Her current work explores the role of memorialisation in the formation of national identity, analysed through art, literature, and culture more broadly. Other research interests include: the links between music, writing, and art; bande dessinée; archiving and silent film; economies of visual art; and the role of monuments and city spaces in the evolution of cultural memory.


ABOUT THE CMP RESEARCH GROUP

“Culture, Media, Place @ Solent” assembles a research community within Solent University, bound by a shared interest in the relationships between arts, media, culture, space and place. It aims to enable connections between a range of researchers across disciplines, schools and institutions; foster an environment of rich intellectual engagement and mutual support; and increase visibility of research activity to those outside the university. Find out more: https://cmpsolent.wordpress.com/ / @cmpsolent

For enquiries, or to suggest a topic/guest speaker for a future seminar, please contact Toby Bennett.

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TS401

The Spark

East Park Terrace

United Kingdom

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