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Coming Home: Identity and Place

Semester and Year FA 2014
Course Number IDSEM-UG1824
Section 001
Instructor Jennifer Lemberg
Days TR
Time 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM



Historian Eric Hobsbawm famously refers to the twentieth century as “the age of extremes,” an era of violence marked especially by “the destruction of the past.” In response to this perceived break with history, contemporary narratives seek to recover lost pasts, frequently employing tropes of homecoming and return in order to bridge temporal as well as geographical gaps between past and present. Stories of “coming home” document the urgency with which our culture attempts to remember the past in the aftermath of trauma and invests specific places, or “sites of memory,” with the power of recall. This course investigates the linkages between identity and place as they are imagined in the aftermath of war and other historical trauma, from film, literature, and theory to practices including reparations and genealogy. Texts may include foundational readings in trauma theory and memory studies as well as selections from Louise Erdrich, Tim O’Brien, Toni Morrison, Jonathan Safran Foer, and James Young, among others.


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Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)