Forgetting: An Interdisciplinary Conversation

In the ongoing flood of studies of memory in its manifold forms and meanings, the no less powerful subject of forgetting tends to be forgotten. We often think of forgetting as a passive process, something that simply “happens” to us and to other living beings; but many of the studies in this inter-disciplinary volume reveal the active and even creative nature of forgetting, its positive features, and its varied roles in a wide series of cultural and intercultural templates. Neuroscientists joined with historians, philologists, a linguist, philosophers, sociologists and anthropologists, an archaeologist and an artist in the two joint workshops that generated this volume, under the auspices of the Zukunftskolleg at the University of Konstanz and the Martin Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The lively exchanges in the workshops are reflected in the comments and discussion that follow many of these experimental, meditative essays.

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Martin Buber Society of Fellows Notebook Series