Perhaps no single word has as many different meanings and valences as memory. While this is not true of all languages, in English, at least, it has a vast scope, encompassing the faculties by which I recall the location of my keys, the sound of my mother’s voice, and my nation’s responsibility for the slave trade. Endel Tulving (2007), one of the pioneers in the psychological study of memory, made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion, complete with a list, that there were 256 kinds of memory. As such, a vast array of scholarship, from every conceivable discipline, has barnacled around the study of memory. The so-called memory boom has infiltrated our popular culture too. As responsible citizens, we are urged to remember our nation’s sins and atone for them; as medical subjects, we are enjoined to pursue various kinds of memory training to stave off dementia.

This essay may be found on page 131 of the printed volume.

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