Art, Culture and Memory: Conversations with Vera Zolberg (Introduction)

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A couple weeks ago, I gave the keynote address at a conference honoring my dear friend and colleague, Vera Zolberg. The papers presented to this conference, “From the Art of Memory to Memory and Art,” were in her special fields of inquiry, the sociology of culture, the arts and the study of collective memory. It was a wonderful event, a long set of conversations with Vera and her work. The day’s proceedings revealed how her fields of inquiry have advanced in the past twenty years, how she has contributed to this advance, and how the fields can and do speak to general public concerns. I am hoping that we will be able to put them together in a special collection drawn from the conference. Here I present my contribution to give a sense of what we discussed and its significance. I started with one of my pet peeves, concerning the word “reflection.”

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