Memory Studies Group at The New School

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial – Sociology Brown Bag Series 2017

“The Vietnam Women’s Memorial: Dialogical Memory and Mixed Genres of Commemoration” was a talk delivered by Monika Żychlińska on September 13th, 2017 as part of  the NSSR’s Sociology department’s brown bag series.

Inaugurated in 1993, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial commemorates women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War, most of whom were nurses. Żychlińska’s research sought to understand the politics of memory surrounding this memorial. How does the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Project (VWMP) respond to earlier commemorations of the Vietnam War? What new interpretations does it offer? How does it portray veterans, especially female veterans? Finally, how has this commemorative effort been inscribed into the overall struggle to to provide this controversial war with an acceptable social interpretation? Funded by the Polish National Science Center, Żychlińska’s research project, entitled “Against Stigma and Invisibility: Identity Politics of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Project (VWMP),” closely examined the dialogical memory and mixed genres of commemoration this memorial represents.

Monika Żychlińska is a sociologist, Americanist, and doctoral candidate at the University of Warsaw’s Institute of Sociology. Her research interests include cultural memory –especially the memory of war and trauma – and its influence on shaping individual and collective identities, gender, and social movements. She was a visiting researcher at the New School for Social Research in 2012/13 (thanks to a grant from the Kościuszko Foundation). Publications include an article co-authored with Erica Fontana, entitled “Museal Games and Emotional Truths: Creating Polish National Identity at the Warsaw Rising Museum” in East European Politics, Societies and Cultures (2016) Volume 2: 235-269.

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