“Rememory,” the Visual, and America’s Future History: Race and the Digital Turn
This book concludes by relating its discussion of visualizing history to the media and the public response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It shows their overly mediated depiction to have a precedent in Civil War photography, and it avers the shared impulse to visualize attending each of these epochal historical events. The Conclusion reads Toni Morrison’s Beloved as offering a salutary “forgetful remembrance” of history in the novel’s model of “rememory” and as an alternative to historicist criticism, as well as to U.S. culture’s visual archiving of a supposedly accessible and remediable past. The discussion also links Morrison’s work to post-9/11 poetry and to contemporary and recent African-American cinema, which, like Beloved, shows the occasion and the need for a willful look forward for both racialized subjects and for the U.S. polity generally in a postdigital age.
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