Paul Connerton  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Paul Connerton (April 22, 1940 – 2019) was a British social anthropologist.

Born in Chesterfield, he was educated at Chesterfield Grammar School for Boys, Jesus College, Oxford and Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. He is best known for his work in memory studies.

Connerton's first book, How Societies Remember (1989) opened the discussion of collective memory. Connerton followed up this work with How Modernity Forgets (2009), which emphasizes what Connerton calls "place memory," or memory that is dependent upon topography and particularly upon topography as it relates to the human body. Connerton argues that modernity is characterized by a particular sort of forgetting "associated with processes that separate social life from locality and from human dimensions: superhuman speed, megacities that are so enormous as to be unmemorable, consumerism disconnected from the labour process, the short lifespan of urban architecture, the disappearance of walkable cities.

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