Christian Pentzold

In times when all walks of live seem to be mediated, in the ubiquitous presence of communication devices and ever more ways to produce, store, remix and distribute messages, the special section assembles research and thinking on the relationship of social media and social memory and to ponder on key themes of current as well as future research. Memory and media are inseparable. Since the very beginnings of human culture, media have been employed to fix, share and store expressions and impressions of individual and collective experiences. Remembrance thus lives and sustains itself in mediated memorable objects and symbolic representations that become enmeshed and activated in memory work such as colloquial conversation, ritual ceremonies, retrospectives or reminiscences. Moreover, from wall paints and cuneiforms via manuscripts and prints to the rise of networked electronic infrastructures and digital media, socio-technical innovations reassemble the practices and materials of individual and collective commemorations. Taking this continuing twin relation, the special section captures empirical research that studies the interplay of current media and social changes and the acts and artefacts of memory. Given the swift appearance, broad diffusion and profound impact of novel connective and mobile services and applications, the special section considers how social media relate to the ways we ‘do’ memory. For the special section, please look at the journal’s website here