On May 7, 2022 we celebrated virtually the publication of Cultural Memory and Popular Dance: Dancing to remember, dancing to forget, hosted by the collection’s editor Clare Parfitt. The book, the latest in the Palgrave Memory Studies series, focuses on the myriad ways that people collectively remember or forget shared pasts through popular dance. In dance classes, nightclubs, family celebrations, tourist performances, on television, film, music video and the internet, cultural memories are shared and transformed by dancing bodies adapting yesterday’s steps to today’s concerns. The book gathers emerging and seasoned scholarly voices from a wide range of geographical and disciplinary perspectives to discuss cultural remembering and forgetting in diverse popular dance contexts. The contributors ask: how are Afro-diasporic memories invoked in popular dance classes? How are popular dance genealogies manipulated and reclaimed? What is at stake for the nation in the nationalizing of folk and popular dances? And how does mediated dancing transmit memory as feelings or affects? During the virtual book launch, the contributors and editor will discuss the chapters and themes of the book and answer questions from the audience.

Find out more about the event and contributing panellists, and watch the recording of the virtual book launch.

This event was hosted by dMSA, the online event series of the Memory Studies Association, in association with the MSA Performance and Memory working group.