Research in the Charente: The Peter Morris Memorial Travel Award 2016

Many congratulations to Adam Spencer (Hull) who was awarded this year’s Peter Morris Memorial Travel Award! Thanks to Adam for the following blog post and picture. You can read his whole report and find out more about this prize scheme here.

‘The purpose of my dissertation follows on from the work on collective memory by the French sociologist Maurice Halbwachs. My objective is to provide a detailed account of a collective memory group and its function in terms of providing social stability and identity within a population. The award made by the ASMCF funded a visit to the Charente to conduct interviews and carry out archival work. My appointments included an interview with the president of the Association du Souvenir des Fusillés de la Braconne (ASFB).  My introduction to the president led to further invitations to commemorative events and administrative meetings. The ASFB was inaugurated over 30 years ago and keeps archives dating back to its formation. I have now been granted access to these private archives. It is highly likely that they will include the necessary information for me to construct a case study of the collective memory of a distinct group within the Charente and contribute to an important section of the thesis.

‘This was only one of many benefits that the visit contributed to my project. Of particular note was an invitation to watch a recording of the testimony of a remarkable Jewish gentleman who had survived Auswchitz and later became a French citizen and recipient of ‘la Légion d’honneur’. This was especially memorable as it was his son, also a member of the ASFB, who kindly offered me the opportunity and welcomed me into his home.

Adam Spencer PhD student, Department of Modern Languages, University of Hull.’

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