Co-edited with Yifat Gutman, Jenny Wüstenberg, Irit Dekel, Benjamin Neinass, Joanna Wawrzyniak, and Kerry Whigham, The Routledge Handbook of Memory Activism is the first systematic effort to map the fast-growing phenomenon of memory activism and to delineate a new field of research that lies at the intersection of memory and social movement studies.

From Charlottesville to Capetown, from Santiago to Sydney, we have recently witnessed protesters demanding that symbols of racist or colonial pasts be dismantled and that we talk about histories that have long been silenced. But such events are only the most visible instances of grassroots efforts to influence the meaning of the past in the present. Made up of more than 80 chapters that encapsulate the rich diversity of scholarship and practice of memory activism by assembling different disciplinary traditions, methodological approaches, and empirical evidence from across the globe, this handbook establishes important questions and their theoretical implications arising from the social, political, and economic reality of memory activism.

Memory Activism is multi-faceted, takes place in a variety of settings, and has diverse outcomes – but it is always crucial to understanding the constitution and transformation of our societies, past and present. This volume will serve as a guide and establish new analytic frameworks for scholars, students, policy makers, journalists, and activists alike. Forthcoming in 2022.

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In Mapping Memory: Visuality, Affect, and Embodied Politics in the Americas, Murphy analyzes a range of visual memory practices that have emerged in opposition to political discourses and visual economies that work to suppress certain subjects and overlook past and present human rights abuses. From the Southern Cone to Central America and the US-Mexico borderlands, and across documentary film, photography, performance, memory sites, and new media, she examines how these visual texts and sites use memory as a form of sociopolitical intervention. Interweaving visual and performance theory with memory and affect studies, Murphy theorizes memory mapping as a visual strategy for producing new temporal and spatial arrangements of knowledge intended to function as counter-practices to official narratives that often neglect or designate as transgressive certain memories or experiences. Published with Fordham University Press in 2019.

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Recently Published Articles and Chapters

Murphy, Kaitlin M. “Fear and Loathing in Monuments: Rethinking the Politics and Practices of Monumentality and Monumentalization.” Memory Studies 14, 6 (2021): 1143-1158.

Murphy, Kaitlin M. “Art as Atrocity Prevention: The Auschwitz Institute, Artivism, and the 2019 Venice Biennale,” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal 15, no. 1 (2021): 68–96.

Murphy, Kaitlin M. “Braiding Borders”: Performance as Care and Resistance on the US-Mexico Border.” TDR: The Drama Review 64, no. 4 (2020), 72-83.

Murphy, Kaitlin M. “Witnessing the Past and the Present: Photography and Guatemala’s Fight for Historical Dialogue.” In Historical Dialogue and the Prevention of Mass Atrocities, edited by Elazar Barkan, Constantin Goschler, and James Waller, 235-252. London: Routledge Press, 2020.

Murphy, Kaitlin M. “Against Precarious Abstraction: Bearing Witness to Migration Through Moysés Zúñiga Santiago’s “La Bestia” Photographs.” Journal of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture 1, no. 1 (2019), 7-22.