Relational Remembering and Oppression

Hypatia 29 (2):493-508 (2014)
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Abstract

This paper begins by discussing Sue Campbell's account of memory as she first developed it in Relational Remembering: Rethinking the Memory Wars and applied it to the context of the false memory debates. In more recent work, Campbell was working on expanding her account of relational remembering from an analysis of personal rememberings to activities of public rememberings in contexts of historic harms and, specifically, harms to Aboriginals and their communities in Canada. The goal of this paper is to draw out the moral and political implications of Campbell's account of relational remembering and thereby to extend its reach and application. As applied to Aboriginal communities, Campbell's account of relational remembering confirms but also explains the important role that Canada's Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission (IRS TRC) is poised to play. It holds this promise and potential, however, only if all Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, engage in a process of remembering that is relational and has the goal of building and rebuilding relationships. The paper ends by drawing attention to what relational remembering can teach us about oppression more generally

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