Kukkonen, Karin: "Popular Cultural Memory. Comics, Communities and Context Knowledge." In: Nordicom Review 29.2 (2008), <https://content.sciendo ... r/29/2/article-p261.xml> (9. Aug. 2021)
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BibTeX citation key: Kukkonen2008
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Keywords: "Fables", Adaptation, Fairy tale, Memoria, USA, Willingham. Bill
Collection: Nordicom Review
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Conventions of genres, types and icons of popular culture are the shared knowledge of media audiences. Becoming acquainted with them through the reception of media texts resembles a socialisation process in its own right: it constitutes a community of media readers. The context knowledge they share is their popular cultural memory. on the level of the individual reading process, this context knowledge then provides the necessary guiding lines for understanding the connotative dimensions of a popular media text.
Popular cultural memory is a repository of conventions and imagery that are continually reconstructed in contemporary popular culture. Drawing on J. Assmann’s writings on the functions and processes of collective memory, the present article develops popular cultural memory as a concept to describe the workings of context knowledge for media texts, while taking into consideration both the macrolevel of audience communities and the microlevel of the individual reading process.
The comics series Fables by Bill Willingham will provide the example through which the article explores the functions of popular cultural memory in media texts, which can take shapes as different as the identification of genre, the stabilisation of intertextual reference chains or the creation of round characters and complex reflexivity.
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