Welcome to the Collective Memory-Work (CMW) page. In August 2020 Maynooth University will host an international symposium on CMW. By following this link you will find information about the symposium.
Detach to Power: The collective memory-work experience
Mary A, Travis, PhD
CMW – Therapy or Therapeutic Research
This collaborative discussion based on my 2003 dissertation work, “Detach to power: The collective memory-work experience,” aims to unpack the method as it helped my participants find authentic rather than culturally scripted voices. In many instances unconscious processes affected their experience and later actions. This discussion can assist future researchers plan their work with deeper understanding of how the method can positively impact and empower the unconscious of co-researchers. Expansion of the capacity to act is a goal of CMW and critical in an era of crisis and uncertainty. Are there ways to structure the work to help participants access deep authenticity, autonomy, spirit and creativity? Individuals often leave groups to engage in arduous work within entrenched and even hostile systems. Can access to unconscious creativity of spirit be maintained?
Collective Memory-work is a method developed during the 1980s by a group of feminist researchers (Frauenformen, Hamburg/Berlin; see: Frigga Haug (1987) Female Sexualisation. London:Verso). It is a tool for research and reflection, and a method for teaching and learning. The method revolves around a set procedure of text-analysis. The texts to be analysed are short personal stories written by the members of a research collective. Hence it is their own experience that is taken as a point of departure for the research process. In a process of investigation the constructions of characters in the stories are referred back to wider social structures. New interpretations are made possible and alternative routes of action come into view.