Ahmet Atay, professor of communication studies and chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Global Media and Digital Studies, and Film Studies programs at The College of Wooster, is the co-editor of a book that adds to the scholarship of intercultural communications through the study of memory. Intercultural Memory: Contesting Places, Spaces, and Stories was published in March 2021 by Peter Lang and co-edited by Yea-Wen Chen and Alberto González.
Atay explained that the idea of memory as a subfield of intercultural communication is not widely studied so the editors wanted to use a critical perspective to examine why individuals and cultures remember certain things. “The pieces in the book spotlight different events or lived experiences and articulate the political and personal reasons behind remembering,” he said. The idea for this book came from a conference where the co-editors presented their work and is related to the Atay’s larger research interests within intercultural communications. “Previously, I worked on a project on how diasporic queer individuals negotiate and communicate with their memories of their homelands and the past through online domains,” Atay said.
The book includes a range of stories that show the different ways memory is significant. “Some of the pieces shed more light on LGBTQIA+ communities and how they remember events in and through media; how diasporic experiences are remembered through photography; and how ethnicized and racialized experiences are remembered through visual culture forms,” Atay explained. He included his own piece on the Turkish Cypriot diaspora and the idea of home and memory through photographs.
Atay plans to work on future projects related to memory and digital culture and visual culture, as well as incorporating some of this work into some of his courses at Wooster, including Intercultural Communication and Globalization and Identity. “We are excited about this publication because we believe it contributes to intercultural communication scholarship very differently and makes room for studying memory through a cultural lens,” he said.