Symposium: The politics of memory and platforms

29 March 2018
University of Groningen
Registration: Send an e-mail to: and


This one-day symposium revolves around the question how the politics of memory are today increasingly interwoven with the politics of social media platforms. Social media such as YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia are not only platforms for content sharing and consumption, social networking, and knowledge production. They can also be conceived of as vast archives that simultaneously hold and construct our mediated personal, public, social, political, and collective memory. They are both containers and filters of our past. The aim of the symposium is to problematize social media platforms as such “platforms of memory.” The symposium precedes Rik Smit’s defence of the dissertation: Platforms of Memory: Social Media and Digital Memory Work.


University Museum Groningen
Oude Kijk in Het Jatstraat 7A
9712 EA Groningen


9.30 Doors open and coffee

10.00-10.15 Welcome by Marcel Broersma (U of Groningen)
10.15-10.30 Introduction by Rik Smit (U of Groningen)
10.30-10.45 Andrew Hoskins (U of Glasgow): “Digital Forgetting”
10.45-11.00 Q&A
11.00-11.15 Christine Lohmeier (U of Bremen): “Keep it or delete it? – Practices of personal digital archiving”
11.15-11.45 Roundtable discussion and Q&A

11.45-13.00 Lunch break

13.00-13.15 Huub Wijfjes (U of Groningen): “Creating sustainable online memories: The quest for public service web archives”
13.15-13.30 Q&A
13.30-13.45 Susan Aasman (U of Groningen): “Ritualised memory practices versus YouTube’s home mode”
13.45-14.15 Roundtable discussion and Q&A
14.15-14.25 Concluding remarks by Marcel Broersma (U of Groningen)

14.25-14.45 Coffee, cake and chatting

16.00-17.00 Public PhD defence Rik Smit

17.00 Reception at Academy building