Matrice presentation

Central hypothesis

Historians and sociologists try to understand how society’s memory works but rarely consider what happens in the human brain. Inversely, neuroscientists study cerebral dynamics of memory, however few are interested in social construction of collective memories.

We claim that it is impossible to understand how human memory works without taking into account all its aspects in a transdisciplinary approach; in other words, without bringing human and social studies, life studies, and engineering to work together.

 

Means

To meet this challenge, a technological platform is being built.

 

24 partners

Memorials, foundations, over ten research laboratories in Paris, Lyon, Nice, Caen and Rennes (signal processing, speech to text, lexicometry and syntaxic analysis, contemporary history and sociology), two ministry departments, INA, France Télévisions, CNRS, Paris 1 University.

 

Approach

Two major historical upheavals : World War II and September 11th 2001.

Two main programs : on the one hand, identify and study national narratives of these two upheavals (with a major role for TV news programs), confront them with witnesses’ testimonies and their evolution, and with general public’s reactions. On the other hand, study visitors’ behaviour in memorials. A major challenge is to focus on the “receiver” rather than on the “transmitter”: on exposition visitor rather than on its creator, on its audience rather than on its author. In its transdisciplinary, international and transprofessional approach, the project is genuinely novel and second to none.

 

Academic fields

Human and Social studies, Life Studies, Engineering

 

Budget

Euro 2,7 millions for the platform (1,7 million in equipment and 1 million in functioning).