Memory, Culture, Forgetting

A marble statue of naked woman seated on a pedestal, legs crossed at the ankles, with linen draped between her thighs.

"Memory." A sculpture by Daniel Chester French. (Image courtesy of Antonio Rosario on flickr. License CC BY-NC-SA.)


MIT Course Number

21A.104 / 21A.119

As Taught In

Spring 2016


Undergraduate / Graduate

Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course introduces scholarly debates about the sociocultural practices through which individuals and societies create, sustain, recall, and erase memories. Emphasis is given to the history of knowledge, construction of memory, the role of authorities in shaping memory, and how societies decide on whose versions of memory are more "truthful" and "real." Other topics include how memory works in the human brain, memory and trauma, amnesia, memory practices in the sciences, false memory, sites of memory, and the commodification of memory. Students taking the graduate version complete additional assignments.

Related Content

Manduhai Buyandelger. 21A.104 Memory, Culture, Forgetting. Spring 2016. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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