Measuring Transnational Memory? Discovering the Potential of the Corpus-Linguistic Analysis of Historical References in Debates on Current Conflict

Eric Sangar

Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

How can the emergence of transnational memories be operationalized and measured using quantitative corpus analysis? This chapter suggests three core insights: on a theoretical level, it shows how collective memory shapes the uses of historical lessons in public discourses on contemporary wars and interventions, and why the analysis of these discourses can enable us to detect possible effects of memory transnationalisation. On a methodological level, it details a corpus-analytical framework that uses quantitative methods to perform a longitudinal comparison of discursive uses of historical references across different national contexts and thus to detect potential instances of transnational memory discourses. Finally, on an empirical level, it presents initial results of such analysis based on a corpus of newspaper articles on contemporary conflict from France, Germany, and the U.S. The results highlight that historical references are indeed mobilised in times of crisis and that one can identify a surprisingly large set of shared references used across all three national contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedia and Politics
Subtitle of host publicationDiscourses, Cultures, and Practices
EditorsBettina Mottura, Letizia Osti, Giorgina Riboni
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Chapter16
Pages330-355
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)978-1-5275-0022-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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