School of Psychology Seminar Series: Collective Memories: pride, shame and change

Date Wednesday 12 April 2023
Time 12pm - 1pm
Where J.1.0 or via zoom
Presenter Sharda Umanath, Associate Professor, Claremont McKenna College, USA
Contact Nicola Starkey
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

When people recall their past, they have the tendency to see it in a positive light. We see the same pattern when people recall their nation’s past. These national memories, or “collective memories,” are shared representations of the past which are important to national or cultural identity. I will present empirical work on memories of pride and shame generated by American and German participants about their own and the other nation. These data suggest both pride and shame play an important role in shaping a nation’s identity. Moreover, the data show that within nations, collective memories change slowly— but do change. Understanding these changes can provide insight into how collective memories and national identities shape one another.

Presented by Sharda Umanath, Associate Professor, Claremont McKenna College, USA, is the Director of the Memory and Aging Lab (UMA Lab).  She earned her PhD in cognitive psychology from Duke University and did her postdoctoral work at Washington University in St Louis.  Her research focuses on how knowledge works in memory and explores related issues involving cognitive aging, autobiographical memory, false memories, and education.