Dr. Robbins awarded Best Article in Polish Memory Studies

Dr. Jessica Robbins, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Institute of Gerontology, has been awarded the Best Article in Polish Memory Studies Award for her article "Expanding Personhood beyond Remembered Selves: The Sociality of Memory at an Alzheimer's Center in Poland," which was published in a 2019 issue of Medical Anthropology Quarterly.

The jury that awarded the paper prize, given by the Polish Memory Studies Group, which is part of the Memory Studies Association, was composed of an international group of interdisciplinary scholars, including many Polish scholars. The judges praised her article, saying, "This is an innovative and interdisciplinary treatment of the connections between individual and social memory and the "national past" with the social lives of Alzheimer's patients and their acts of remembering. The author combines perspectives from gerontology with anthropological tools to open a new perspective on memory studies in relation to elderly and sick people. She thereby demonstrates that, contrary to popular notions that memory is lost in dementia, remembrance plays an important function in connecting individuals and forming identities."

The judges also said, "The approach towards individual forms of dementia and the way how national histories function as a shared horizon of expectations and knowledge for elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's, provides an extensive innovation to the field of memory studies as it demonstrates that it is possible to link a critical reflection of the terms 'individual' and 'collective' with new empirical material."

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