Revisionism and collective memory: The struggle for meaning in the Amistad affair

Marouf Hasian, Adina Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

This essay problematizes "history" and "public memory" by examining their polysemic and polyvalent nature. Collective memories are selectively chosen and highlighted to fit the needs of a particular social group. Ownership of "history" then becomes a hegemonic device that controls our interpretation of the past and subsequent behavior in the future. In the case of the "Amistad Affair," the ramifications of these choices reached from the early nineteenth century court of law to the Hollywood studio of the late twentieth century. Thus, it serves as a paradigm case of the struggle over who controls the narrative possibilities of history and memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-62
Number of pages21
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2000

Keywords

  • Amistad
  • Collective Memory
  • Colonization
  • History
  • Revisionism
  • Rhetoric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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