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Me: Memory Scholar

August 1, 2011

I’ve been invited to join the Memory Studies Bank, a “virtual repository for the growing community of memory scholars.”


I’ve been invited because while earning my master’s at The New School for Social Research I began my memory project, met with some psychology professors and students about memory, attended the annual memory conference, and wrote my thesis (which has developed into my book) about memory. That combo of documented interest and application, I am guessing, qualifies me to become a bank member.

Still, the invite surprised me. The psychology, sociology, and historical studies students, I suspected, were more associated with memory than I was, by virtue of being required to study it and potentially entering a career in which publishing studies on memory would be expected. My degree was in liberal studies: I was one of a small band of students who wanted it all. We wanted the psychology and sociology and anthropology, but we also wanted the philosophy and literature. We wanted to take the occasional poly sci or econ class when its content suited our interest and whims. A good friend of mine loved art and art criticism, so he took every class that even tangentially applied, no matter the department. For me, of course, the central themes were memory and literacy. I took a history class on the history of the book. I took a I took a sociology class that consisted of ten students writing a novel together. And I wrote that darn thesis on memory. My association with memory, therefore, seemed less that of the “scholar” and more that of the “fanatical lay person.”

Maybe I am, therefore, purely associated with memory. I don’t have to research it, write about it, read everything I can about it. I just want to. It’s one of my things. And if having a thing called memory is enough to make me a memory bank scholar, COOL!

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  1. Congrats, this is amazing!


  2. Randy (the professor who started all this when he told me in four words what so inspired Dave Eggers in six): HA! And how I will eagerly read it (again) when it’s out and pretty, even if your memory suffered for the writing. 🙂 Hope you saw the post a few posts back that ends “Memory is the trickster.”


  3. @SuzFarrellSmith, my favorite student (one of several), blogs on becoming a “Memory Bank Scholar” — memorably.


  4. Bravissima, Suzanne.

    I used to have a memory but I used it up writing my memoir. ;-}


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