The reconstructive turn in memory theory challenges us to provide an account of successful remembering that is attentive to the ways in which we use memory, both individually and socially. I investigate conceptualizations of accuracy and integrity useful to memory theorists and argue that faithful recollection is often a complex epistemological/ethical achievement.
We contest each other's memory claims all the time. I am concerned with how the contesting of memory claims and narratives may be an integral part of many abusive situations. I use the writings of Otto Weininger and the False Memory Syndrome Foundation to explore a particular strategy of discrediting women as rememberers, making them more vulnerable to sexual harm. This strategy relies on the presentation of women as unable to maintain a stable enough sense of self or identity to (...) be trustworthy testifiers to their own harm. (shrink)
My intent is to bring a key group of critical terms associated with the emotions-bitterness, sentimentality, and emotionality-to greater feminist attention. These terms are used to characterize emoters on the basis of how we express ourselves, and they characterize us in ways that we need no longer be taken seriously. I analyze the ways in which these terms of emotional dismissal can be put to powerful political use.