This course looks at the relationships between history, memory, counter-memory, amnesia, and social struggle. Our aim is to track back and forth between learning about the past and about its impact on today. We ask, what gets remembered about African American history, and who does the remembering? In what ways do communities develop collective memories? In what ways do counter-memories emerge? More specifically, we ask how the experience of slavery in the United States is constituted as a past, remembered and forgotten. Our goal is to achieve a solid grounding in 18th and 19th century African-American history, and to develop conceptual tools for making a complex analysis of the past and of the politics of memory. This will be a truly interdisciplinary class, mixing film, fiction, primary resources and historical studies. We may read Toni Morrison, 12 Years a Slave , and David Blight. Films we may watch include Gone With the Wind and Django Unchained.