On 15 September, Prof. Ann Rigney received an honorary doctorate from Aarhus University, Denmark. She has been awarded this honour for her contribution to the development of cultural memory studies.
Rigney holds the chair of Comparative Literature at Utrecht University and, as of 15 September, will also be head of the Department of Languages, Literature, and Communication. She is a member of the KNAW.
Her doctoral thesis, which appeared as The Rhetoric of Historical Representation (Cambridge UP, 1990), examined the literary strategies used by historians of the French Revolution to interpret events. Since then her highly interdisciplinary research has continued to focus on the many ways in which societies make sense of the past -- through texts, images, monuments, public apologies, or commemorations – and how this engagement with the past reflects contemporary concerns in Europe today.
She directed the NWO project The Dynamics of Cultural Remembrance and initiated the Utrecht Forum for Memory Studies. Her many publications include The Afterlives of Walter Scott: Memory on the Move (Oxford UP, 2012; 2017), Transnational Memory (with Chiara de Cesari, De Gruyter, 2012) and Commemorating Writers in Nineteenth-Century Europe (with Joep Leerssen, Palgrave, 2012).
She has regularly collaborated with colleagues in Aarhus, including most recently on the EU-H2020 project Unsettling Remembering and Social Cohesion in Transnational Europe.