Campus Box 1173
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-489
My work is concerned with collective memory and identity. I have particular interests in how these issues play out in Russia , the Republic of Georgia , and Estonia , but my research is also motivated by a broader set of concerns about the nature of collective memory in general. In previous writings I have drawn on the ideas of L.S. Vygotsky, M.M. Bakhtin, and others in order to examine problems of language and thought from a sociocultural perspective.
I am currently working on several projects in the South Caucasus , especially the Republic of Georgia . This includes collaborating with colleagues on efforts to understand the emergence of civil society, and democracy in this region. Of particular interest for me is how schools and other institutions are harnessed to create and maintain official collective memory.
Where is the Caucasus? Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. May 16, 2013.
Forgetting Bin Laden: Why facts don’t always change history. Foreign Affairs, September 19, 2012. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/138126/james-v-wertsch/forgetting-bin-laden
Collective memory. In P. Boyer & J.V. Wertsch, eds., Memory in mind and culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp.117-137.
Spinning the past: Russian and Georgian accounts of the war of August 2008. (J.V. Wertsch & Z. Karumidze). Memory Studies, vol.2, no.3, September 2009, pp.377-392.
A clash of deep memories. Profession 2008. New York: Modern Language Association, 2008, pp.46-53.
Voices of Collective Remembering. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Narratives as cultural tools in sociocultural analysis: Official history in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Ethos 2001: 511-533.
Introduction to Memory Studies (L80 221)
Text Memory and Identity (L97 343)
History and Memory (L12 4109)