English Language, Literature & Culture

Special Issue

Memory and Counter-memory in Postmodern British Fiction

  • Submission Deadline: 18 December 2024
  • Status: Open for Submission
  • Lead Guest Editor: Elena Bollinger
About This Special Issue
This Special Issue addresses the intersections between Memory and Counter-Memory in Postmodern British Fiction. Its central concern is to outline the role of writing in memory studies, shedding light on literature as a predominantly reflexive and productive medium of cultural memory. As a 'media of memory’, literature not only permeates the imaginative creation of the past, but also features negotiation of competing memories and a reflection upon complex processes of cultural remembering and forgetting. Defined as “the very condition for remembering”, forgetting constitutes a symbolic form of cultural counter-memory in literature, operating by means of condensation, narration and genre. Resting upon the idea of a multilayered superimposition of different images and different meanings, the narrativization of experience between forgetting and remembering may constitute one of the most valuable (counter)-memory figures in memory culture. Focusing on a constant revision of culturally available constructive and creative processes responsible for the representation of the past, postmodern British fiction actively contributes to reflect upon blurred borders between remembering and forgetting, memory and counter-memory, 'memory from below' and the versions of former experience registered in official historiographies. Looking at semantic and structural complexity of several postmodernist texts, displaying highly ambiguous, non-linear representations of the process of memory, might add to current intellectual debates on the integration of some politically controversial and socially contradictory elements into the representation of the past. Key features might include, but are not restricted to, the following issues: perspectives on the collective past composed from white, western middle-class perspectives, inclusion of women's writings into the literary canon, 'tyranny' of the official memory, history versus memory, postcolonial memories and counter-memories, representation of war and social violence.


  1. Counter-memory
  2. Multidirectional Memory
  3. Post-colonial Studies
  4. Canon Controversy
  5. Literary Representations of Remembering / Forgetting
  6. History and Memory
  7. Culture and Memory
Lead Guest Editor
  • Elena Bollinger

    University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal

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