Issue 31 (Winter 2024): Memory

eSharp Issue 31 'Memory' Cover Art

Lisa Wagner

'Memory' 2023

Our mind is like a colossal piggy bank where we can stack fresh memories on top of the existing ones.  Just like new coins are collected; the memories also overlay the older ones and the past cannot be entirely erased. The piggy bank is closed from outside - only with the help of a hammer the treasure inside could be accessed. In my design, I aimed to craft a colourful, vibrant composition that mirrors our act of encapsulating moments within tangible objects.

Letter from the Editors

When we first met in late 2022 and began putting together ideas for this issue, we started connecting by reflecting on our personal experiences of working on a publication and the shared experience of being a postgraduate student. As a topic, it was mentioned that Annie Ernaux had been awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature 'for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory', which sparked our discussions around memory for this issue. How do we decide what is remembered and what is forgotten as a society? How do we record past events and who records them? Is memory consigned to the human? Can we also consider memory in non-human entities such as our environment? We realised that an excavation of the ways in which memories reflect on the past and affect our present and our future provides fertile terrain for academic discussion. That is the reason why this theme was chosen, and the reason why these fantastic works are collected and presented in this issue.

Memory is not solely concerned with individual life experiences, but also collective histories. In recent years, we have continued to observe how memories of big events are both informed by reality and subject to human interpretation, fallibility, and prejudice in the media and online. Particularly in the post-COVID-19 pandemic context, the exploration of memory has sharpened our focus on the far-reaching impact of personal memory and collective memory on individuals and societies. Recent events, such as the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as the effects of climate change, have also undoubtedly shaped and triggered the memories of people worldwide.

The pieces included in this issue cover a wide range of fields related to memory across music, gender history, war, memoirs, documentary theatre, novel, moral phenomenology and transatlantic literature. We expect this issue to illustrate the idea that memory is not only about the past but about our future, and the considerations this engenders. We would like to sincerely thank all the authors, researchers who submitted abstracts, peer reviewers, university staff and editors who have contributed to this issue.


Download the full issue: eSharp 31 'Memory' (Winter 2024)


Editorial Board: Amber Kai Watts,  Ziyi Zhao,  Emily Menger-Davies,  Jacob Harber, and Hanru Yang.

Cover Artist: Lisa Wagner.


Table of Contents

Letter from the Editors 5
Contributor Biographies 6
'Hear Us Now: Re-imagining the Future of Boston's Catholic Community Through Storytelling and Theatre'
Alyssa Osiecki
'Clara Schumann and Cultural Memory: Using Concert Programmes and Reviews to Understand the Process of Canonisation'
Ruairidh Pattie
'Re-membering National Identity in the American Maximalist Novel'
Elisa Pesce
'Remembering the Domestic: Rose Dabney Forbes and the Future of Female Biographies'
Catherine Devlin
'On Moral Memory and its Influence Over Individual and Collective Moral Identities'
Sami Shaheen
'The Complex Nature of Memory in Personal Testimonies from the French Revolution: The Example of Fournier l'Américain
Sam Dobbie
'The Aesthetics of Mythical Cityscapes from Cubism to Ultraísmo: The Metaphysical Quest for National Identity in Joyce’s Dublin and Borges’ Buenos Aires’
Audrey Chan
'Exhibiting War Art: The Imperial War Museum in 1919 and 2014'
Rachel Millar