Rewilding Memory

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Abstract

Rewilding memory provides the basis for a new theoretical and practical agenda to bring greater neurological human diversity and ecological diversity into research and teaching on memory, mind and media. The article develops the concept of ‘more-than-human-memory’ to refer to the co-construction of memories between diverse humans and the environment. The article draws on research that examined a transmedia corpus of 40 neurodivergent memory works (life writing, memoirs, autobiographical art, blogs and videos). It found that memory works by autistic people consistently remember the self in terms of the co-composition of human memories through and with the media and matter of environmental memories. The article explores the ways in which some autistic people's memory works decentre human memories through deep ecological memory, conversations with vibrant objects and memories of animating energies. The research suggests that such memories ‘rewild’ or eco-neuroqueer the human-centred and normatively biased assumptions of memory, mind and media that underpin psychology, philosophy of mind, media and memory studies. It contributes a new angle to research that addresses the dialogical relationship between what Barnier and Hoskins (2018) have termed ‘memory in the mind’ and ‘memory in the wild’. It also goes beyond extended mind theory that understands human memory as enhanced and extended through non-biological tools and suggests the significance to memory of the more-than-human living world. Importantly, it highlights connections between autistic more-than-human-memories and the conceptualisation and practices associated with the more-than-human in research shaped by eco-psychology, Indigenous Studies and Environmental Humanities.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberVolume 1
Pages (from-to)e9
Number of pages15
JournalMemory Mind and Media
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2022

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