DepositWitnessing Fukushima Secondhand: Collage, Archive and Travelling Memory in Jacques Ristorcelli’s Les Écrans

Cultural memory in comics studies mostly seems to revolve around nonfictional graphic novels tackling major historical events. Drawing on recent trends in cultural memory studies, this paper focuses on Jacques Ristorcelli‘s Les Écrans (2014) as an experimental counterpoint where memory is animated by the author’s use of collage. Delving into an ‘archive’ of heterogeneous elements, Les Écrans borrows from old war comics in a way that reflexively constructs a discourse on the past of the medium and its memory. Through the analysis of Ristorcelli’s book, this paper highlights how collage can function in comics as a work of memory that reaches back to appropriative practices common to both readers and fine artists.

DepositHughes, Cullen, and the In-sites of Loss

This essay explores how Pierre Nora’s sites of memory work a specific cultural function through what Melvin Dixon refers to as “a memory that ultimately rewrites history.” I look at two of the most well-known poems of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes’s “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and Countee Cullen’s “Heritage,” one of which reveals a vested interest in producing identity by turning to the body as a locus of cultural memory, while the other ostensibly seeks to dismantle what it articulates as a fundamentally nostalgic and politically dangerous structuration of memory. The essay ends with the Harlem Renaissance poet Helene Johnson, who offers an embodied and emboldened approach to thinking about memory in the present.

MemberRebecca Haidt

18th-19th C cultures, literatures; comparative studies; gender, sexuality; material culture; cultural history; Spain; Spain-Cuba and Spain-North Africa 18th-19th centuries; convict transport history; labor history and history of women’s work; fashion and costume history; Madrid; Iberian studies; Enlightenment; book history; translation; media studies; popular culture; popular theatre; prose fiction; European literary history; history of ideas.

MemberKatharine Trostel

Katie Trostel earned her PhD in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She serves as Assistant Professor of English at Ursuline College where she has a special interest in Latin American women’s writing, composition, and the digital humanities. Her research project is entitled, “Memoryscapes: Women Chart the Post-Trauma City in 20th- and 21st- Century Latin America.” It examines the treatment of urban space and memories of state-sponsored violence in the works of Latin American women writers of the post-trauma or post-dictatorship generation. She analyzes a largely unexplored archive of contemporary fiction that represents public spaces in the post-trauma city, and negotiates the relationship between collective and individual memory. Her work demonstrates the central role of women in debates over the public memorialization of state-sponsored violence in Argentina (Tununa Mercado), Chile (Nona Fernández), Mexico (Ana Clavel), and Peru (Karina Pacheco Medrano), and extends theories of memory and urban space by arguing that fictional cityscapes serve as primary sites through which difficult national memories are worked through. She also serves as the coordinator of the Venice Ghetto Collaboration.

MemberJ. Davis Winkie

My name is Davis Winkie, and I am a Ph.D. student in military history at UNC-Chapel Hill. My hobbies include running and following my favorite soccer team, Atlanta United FC. In a past life, I played college football for Vanderbilt University, but now I moonlight as a soldier in the NC Army National Guard. My general research interests center around American memory and commemoration of its 20th century wars. These interests are very inclusive: memorials, public education curricula, movies, books, music, ceremonies, and more. In the past, this has led me to track the evolution of U.S. high school history textbooks’ treatments of the Japanese-American internment and the Allied bombing campaign in WWII. I have also explored the ways that politics and economic necessity led the way in shaping the form and function of Tennessee’s WWI memorial. My current project (which is to become my M.A. thesis and an article) reevaluates the early Cold War relationship between the U.S. military, the Production Code Administration, and Hollywood. I argue that Hollywood war films faced a daunting system of soft censorship orchestrated by the DoD and PCA. Ultimately, this demonstrates the direct role that the military played in planting the cinematic seeds for America’s enduring popular “good war” mythology.