Nie ma tego rodzaju leksykonu w literaturze polskiej i światowej. Opracowało go wspólnie 101 autorów, wśród których są historycy, socjologowie, kulturoznawcy i przedstawiciele innych dyscyplin nauk humanistycznych i społecznych, pracujący w kilkudziesięciu ośrodkach naukowych w Polsce i zagranicą. Przedmiotem 180 haseł tej publikacji są język i tradycja badań pamięci. Leksykon porządkuje wiedzę na temat form reprezentacji historii, jej kulturowego znaczenia oraz obecności przeszłości w teraźniejszości.
Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska, Robert Traba (red.) (2014)
Modi memorandi. Leksykon kultury pamięci
A decade after 1989, Poland began experiencing a "memory boom." This explosion in cultural productions dealing with the past inspired scholarly research on collective memory in fields as diverse as Anthropology, Archeology, Art History, Communications, Cultural Studies, History, Film, Languages and Linguistics, Literature, Journalism, Media Studies, Museum Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. While this intellectual surge drew inspiration from classical works produced earlier in Western Europe and the United States, it also produced a plethora of new concepts, theories, and perspectives rooted in the Central European experience and drew on classical Polish authors. This incredibly rich field of inquiry presents an intellectual labyrinth that can be difficult to navigate. Novices may have trouble finding their bearings, while seasoned scholars may talk past each other, each using terms native to their disciplines for lack of a common language.
The first of its kind in Polish, Modi Memorandi is a lexicon-encyclopedia including the most important terms and concepts associated with collective memory. Each entry not only defines the term, but also discusses its intellectual history, associated research traditions, and related concepts. Sub-entries and synonyms offer greater intellectual precision. A short bibliography following each entry guides the reader to seminal works. All of this is accomplished in one to eight pages per entry, making this lexicon an ideal resource for readers who want a quick yet sophisticated introduction to key concepts.
What makes the book so remarkable is that it balances breadth and depth. It draws on Anglo-Saxon, Austrian, French, German, and Polish research traditions—an impressive range of disciplines—and various levels or dimensions of analysis–local, national, regional, religious, classical, and gendered. Such an accomplishment requires intense international collaboration on a large scale; indeed, this encyclopedia has no fewer than 150 contributors from 5 different countries. One hopes this is the first but not the last edition. As new scholarship emerges, readers will eagerly anticipate revised and expanded editions; a future edition could perhaps include an entry on institutes of national remembrance. Now that such institutes exist in over a dozen countries and play a special role in shaping memory, they have attracted the attention of some researchers and might warrant an entry. I hasten to add that this is a minor suggestion and not a criticism.
Carefully researched and well-written, Modi memorandi is an invaluable resource. It will be of great interest to a wide range of audiences: novices seeking a broad overview, seasoned scholars attempting to speak across disciplines using a common language, and West European and American scholars wanting to learn more about Central European research traditions. To this end, one hopes it will be translated into other languages so that it garners the wider readership it deserves.