Fall in Line Genus, kropp och minnena av det amerikanska inbördeskriget i skandinavisk reenactment
Sammanfattning: “Fall in line” is a military command used when the American Civil War is reenacted in Scandinavia, ordering the soldiers to stand in a row. The command can also be used as a metaphor for the adaptations reenactors make as a group to guidelines, originating from collective memories of the Civil War. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate gender and body as dimensions of the collective conciliation of memories within a group reenacting historical events. The body's materiality, material objects such as clothing, interactions between members of a group and with contemporary surroundings all have a varying impact on the evolving conciliation of the memories. Historical reenactment is a slightly unconventional context in which people make use of history, and the thesis highlights how events from history are modernised, utilised and forgotten, in the absence of regulatory documents and institutions. The collective memories act as a reference, yet the memories are constantly evolving. The thesis discusses how American collective memories are remediated within a Scandinavian context.The study is based on autoethnographic studies, interviews of group members and is supported by photographs. The autoethnographic studies allow for a new method of historical research, whereby the researcher becomes part of the material. Based on the queer phenomenology perspective that every person adapts to the behaviour expected in a group, I have been able to use the autoethnographic material to study my own adaptations. The expectations are based on the collective memories and are thus conciliated and changed. My own body and my experiences serve to highlight how gender and body are decisive dimensions when conciliating memories.During reenactment, a temporary memorial site is created where the distance between it and the contemporary world allows for conciliation of memories of the past. The reenactors move around the constructed space in different ways, determined by gender and body. Some reenactors move around the boundaries with the surrounding area, which is not included in the reenactment, and others move closer to the centre and are therefore also closer to the seemingly authentic. The memories of the past are generated by means of movement along the lines staked out in the space or along alternative lines, and it is not possible to understand how the memories are conciliated without studying gender and body.
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