THE SEMINAR IS CANCELED

Exploring the production of memories and historical knowledge in history-focused Facebook groups

Robin Ekelund, PhD in history and senior lecturer in childhood and youth studies at Malmö University, presents his research project "Exploring the production of memories and historical knowledge in history-focused Facebook groups". Abstract Every day, individuals use the Internet not only to search for facts about the past, but also to share memories and produce their own historical knowledge.

They discuss topics ranging from local history and specific historical decades, to clothes, styles and artefacts from the past. In an ongoing postdoc project, funded by the Crafoord Foundation, I explore the role of memories and historical knowledge in retrospective online communities. Thus, as an historian, I am breaking into unknown territory. Historians have previously been studying history in the digital domain from an interest in how they themselves can deal with the “big data” provided by the Internet.

My project instead uses a “history from below”-perspective and a digital ethnography approach. This implies that the data used is produced by the members of history-focused Facebook groups themselves. With this seminar, I will present the project in more detail and, most of all, I wish to discuss the methodological possibilities and challenges in using a digital ethnographical approach.