Memory Boxes

Dynamics of Cultural Transfer in Europe 1500-2000

Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Jörg Rogge (Mainz) and Prof. Dr. Hannu Salmi (Turku)

In recent years, various methods for the analysis of cultural interaction have been discussed and developed. In this debate, Bernd Roeck has coined the notion of “memory boxes”. He has made an effort to conceptualize cultural relations by focusing on transferable things that are often separated or encapsulated into, as he calls them, memory boxes. Roeck himself uses the concept to analyze the transfer process of artworks between cultures, but we will pursue to expand the idea to examine both material and imaginary “memory boxes”.

The project explores the heuristic potential of the notion by investigating three areas – identity, topoi and courtly culture – and reflects on the methods of studying cultural transfer and cultural comparison. The proposed project draws on the themes and research expertise of its participants, works through joint seminars and collaborative writing and aims at enhancing academic exchange between Finland and Germany.

Memory boxes will be explored in collaboration with the FSP's partner institution, the Department of Cultural History at the University of Turku.

The project is funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and the Finnish Academy of Sciences.