The human experience is deeply rooted in memory. It is the raw material of personal identity and community. It informs our narratives, generates our myths, justifies our politics, and sustains our cultures. Memory gives us our autobiographical individual selves, yet memory also binds us to one another. In spite of this, memory is always contentious and selective, even traumatic, and its meanings are subjective. Thus, paradoxically, memory also divides our ideologies, our faiths, our daily experiences. In his famous 1918 essay on seeking a “usable past,” Van Wyck Brooks argued, “The spiritual past has no objective reality; it yields only what we are able to look for in it.” The Dedicated Semester will examine these concerns, with special emphasis on the technologies of memory, the effect of memory on personhood throughout the life cycle, and the ways in which memory, culture, and identity are linked.