Last year’s winner of the Memory Study Association Excellent Paper Award is Clara de Massol de Rebetz, with her article ‘Remembrance Day for Lost Species. Remembering and Mourning Extinction in the Anthropocene’. Clara is a PhD candidate at King’s College London in the CMCI department, supervised by Dr Jessica Rapson.
Her article was published last September 2020 in the latest issue of Memory Studies Journal, which you can read here. Clara explores memory and the future memory of extinction through the analysis of a local Remembrance Day for Lost Species, an international initiative encouraging people to globally gather in funeral ceremonies to mourn extinct species. She draws on Ursula Heise’s concept of ‘eco-cosmopolitanism’ (2008, 2016) and Michael Rothberg’s ‘multidirectional memory’ (2009) as well as fieldwork notes and interviews conducted during Lost Species Day 2018 in Brighton, UK to unpack the conditions of future memory at a time of ecological loss. As such, she considers what is lost and remembered at a time of mass extinction; identifying the Anthropocene – the geological epoch in which the incremental and disruptive impact of the human species has become the main planetary force – as an epoch of mourning.