Points and poetics of memory: (Retrospective) justice in oral history interviews of former internees

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By adopting the idea of points of memory, this article engages with oral history interviews of former child and youth internees of Finland, most of them children of German fathers and Finnish mothers. The article analyzes how points of memory emerge and performatively operate in reminiscing by focusing on personal accounts that revolve around material objects. In particular, points of memory will be analyzed in what follows by applying the concept of poetics, understood here as a juxtaposition of textual units that gives rise to emergent meanings. What is more, these personal accounts will be examined in relation to collective and public internment memory. Accordingly, the article aims at illustrating these accounts as (1) instances of (moral) rhetoric through which interviewees perform various social and political acts (e.g. claim accountability or retrospective justice) and (2) means in the production and transmission of memory.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMemory Studies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1020–1035
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6160 Other humanities
  • memory studies
  • oral history
  • folklore studies
  • poetics
  • Finland
  • materiality
  • Finland
  • internments
  • materiality
  • oral history
  • poetics
  • the Second World War

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