Events / Collective Memory and Forgetting

Collective Memory and Forgetting

November 9, 2015
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Roddy Roediger

reedierJames S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Psychology

more about this speaker

Date: November 9, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Venue: Whittemore House

Abstract: Collective memory refers to the way in which groups of people remember the past. The group might be people in a family, a university, a business, a city or a state. National collective memories generally exhibit ethnocentrism or what has been called national narcissism. I will show evidence of this narcissism from a large multi-national survey. In addition, I will also show how collective forgetting can be studied, in particular how forgetting of recent presidents is occuring over time. Using these data, we can ask “When will Lyndon Johnson be as poorly remembered as Zachary Taylor?” The empirical study of collective memory helps us to understand differences among groups. If there is time, I will present data on national differences in remembering World War II and how these findings are relevant to understanding conflicts (and their interpretation) today.






  • Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Vegetable, Potatoes and Gravy
  • Vegetarian Lasagna (Spinach, Tomato Sauce, Garlic Béchamel, Mushrooms and Zucchini)
  • ½ Smoked Turkey & Cheddar Cheese Sandwich on Wheat with Fresh Fruit Garnish  & Cup of Vegetable Soup
  • Whole Smoked Turkey & Cheddar Cheese Sandwich on Wheat with Fresh Fruit Garnish
  • Mayfair Salad (Chopped Romaine, Mayfair Dressing, Red Onion, Tomato, Salami and Sweet Peppers)

Dessert (optional)

  • Vanilla Ice Cream with a Homemade Cookie