Memory Unchained: Mapping Individual Creativity and Transnational Cultural Memory in Autobiographical Writings of Ingrians

Projekt: Forskningsprojekt


Beskrivning (abstrakt)

The Academy of Finland postdoctoral project "Memory Unchained" (1 September 2017 – 31 August 2020) investigates the role of creative individuals in the processes of cultural memory. It examines a corpus of published and unpublished life writings, memoirs, and autobiographical fiction written by persons with Ingrian background. These writings address the turbulent history of Ingrians (or Ingrian Finns), a Finnish-/Finnic-speaking historical ethnic minority of Russia. Not only does the corpus reflect the major twentieth-century turmoil in Europe such as the World Wars and genocides, it also addresses the diverse mobilities and migrant identities, trends and twists of international politics and ideologies. These works represent diverse genres and are treated as differentiated mediators and reconfigurations of transnational cultural memory. Cultural memory is an articulated set of representations through which past is symbolically made present. In this research, I will examine the processes of cultural memory as they are reflected in the corpus by focusing on the role of creative individuals and their textual practices. I will analyse 1) what kinds of cultural resources (e.g. themes; motifs; genres; ideological discourses; means of expression) are used in the abovementioned writings, and 2) what kinds of communicative and rhetorical functions these resources carry in terms of (re-)mediation of cultural memory. My research will explore the methodological blind spots between memory studies, oral history research, and folkloristics, thus advancing the respective fields and creating a truly multidisciplinary approach. It articulates in an original manner the interplay of the cultural and the individual, the collective and the personal, the conventional and the creative. This relates to the dilemma central across humanities and social sciences: to what degree is human life constrained by structural factors and in what measure it is steered by individual agency. Further still, by engaging not only with the travelling of people, but with the travelling of cultural knowledge and expressive forms across times and places through the practices of creative agents, my study provides a novel outlook on mobility and transnationality.
Kort titelMemory Unchained
Gällande start-/slutdatum01/09/201731/08/2020


  • 6160 Övriga humanistiska vetenskaper