In the last six years, scholars have engaged with the effects of globalization on the study of collective memory, emphasizing the de-territorialization, de-nationalization of memory cultures. While being attentive to the global circulation and transformation of collective memories, authors in this issue seek to revisit and critique some assumptions about transnational memory. Definitions of transnational memory as ‘cosmopolitan’ or ‘multidirectional’ have generally been framed in opposition to the nation as the sole and natural container
for collective memories. If national memory is made uniform via forgetting (Renan) and is said to be stable, linear, and fixed to a territory (Nora 1996–1998; Halbwachs and Alexandre 1950), descriptions of transnational memory are, in contrast, mobile, non-linear, shifting, and heterogeneous. While authors of this special issue acknowledge how globalization has transformed our study of memory to reflect the transnational and global complexities of our worlds, many of these same authors take issue with the strict dichotomy between the national and the global, as well as the dominant views that transnational memories are necessarily forces of progress, that they
weaken nationalist memories, and render place less relevant to memory cultures. Transnational memory, they argue, can in fact lead to the acceleration of nationalist memory and ideology.