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We came here to remember’: Using participatory sensory ethnography to explore memory as emplaced, embodied practice

Stevenson, AD (2014) We came here to remember’: Using participatory sensory ethnography to explore memory as emplaced, embodied practice. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 11. ISSN 1478-0895

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Abstract

Memory can be seen as an emplaced phenomenon rather than as an internal, psychological archive. Approaches relating to cognition and memory as practice, seeing cognition as an extended, distributed phenomenon, will be considered in theoretical and empirical contexts in this article. Theoretical approaches to emplaced, embodied memory will be explored in the context of my sensory ethnographic research on place perception. I curated a series of sensory ethnographic engagements to explore how three international students from Tunisia, Indonesia, and Germany used emplaced knowledge and memories of their city and of their previous homes. Using a participatory sensory ethnography, involving walking interviews, my collaborators devised unique memorial responses to evoke their new and previous places of residence. The collaborations presented here illustrate the embodied, emplaced nature of memory. The use of sensory ethnography has enabled me to construct memory as an emplaced, embodied, multisensory phenomenon, rather than an internal archive.

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