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Recovering social memories from the past: the 1884 novel Ramona and tourist practices in turn‐of‐the‐century southern California

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Scholars studying social memory have identified a priority for future work: using the study of documented social memories to understand constructions of the past and social identities in the present. Recovering such lived, individual engagements with social memory is challenging when those engaging the memory are deceased, yet that is what this article attempts to do: Through fine-grained study of archival traces, I explore the lived practices of tourists in an attempt to understand how the immensely popular 1884 novel Ramona changed the way people thought about southern California's past, creating a new, Ramona-inspired social memory for the region. In so doing I suggest that those interested in recovering social memories (like these) from the past use such detailed analysis, paying close attention to even the tiniest of details.
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Keywords: Ramona; landscape; social memory; southern California; tourist practices

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, 227 Howe/Russell Geoscience Complex, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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