Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe

The Afterlife of Hope

As project leader of ReAct, I am working towards integrating the findings of all the subprojects into a book project on the memory-activism nexus provisionally titled “The Cultural Memory of Hope.” In preparation I have been following specific lines of inquiry that tie different projects together and provide a long-term view on the surprisingly rich culture of commemoration among oppositional groups. Projects include mapping the memoryscape of the Socialist League in the period 1880-1900, exploring the tradition of making revolutionary calendars up to the present-day, analysing invocations of the Paris Commune in social movements of the twenty-first century, studying the archiving practices of recent anti-austerity movements, examining the role of memory in climate activism. Across all these topics is an over-arching interest in the strategies that have been invented to transmit hope while narrating defeat.