CMCI PhD student Taylor Annabell has been awarded the Memory Studies Association Best Paper Award 2021 for her paper entitled “Narratives of the self and digital memory work on social media platforms”. In this paper, she demonstrated how narrative approach to research on memory could be brought into the subfield of digital memory studies.
Drawing on Giaxoglou’s (2019) analytical framework and Georgakopoulou’s (2017) small stories approach, she examined practices and norms of digital memory work on Instagram of young women during a six-month period of observation. The analysis of specific stories and posts connected to the temporally more distant past focused on when and what of the past was selected as shareable, the linguistic and narrative features used to attribute meaning to the past, and the networked response and interaction to them. Through digital memory work, she argued, young women show appreciation for their friends, make visible hierarchies of (girl)friendships as well as express nostalgia and longing for pre-Covid life. Consequently, for digital memory studies, small stories provides a valuable framework to examine the interplay of past, present and future in the (re)circulation of the past on platforms as well as glimpse moments in which remembering becomes visible.
Taylor’s paper will be published in the MSA’s Memory Studies Special Issue edited by Joanna Wawrzyniak and Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska in 2022.