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First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar: Collective Memory of Atrocity and Crisis

Semester and Year FA 2016
Course Number FIRST-UG74
Section 001
Instructor Hannah Gurman
Days TR
Time 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Units 4
Level U


Open to Gallatin first-year students only.


In the aftermath of the Holocaust, Primo Levi wrote, “Never forget that this has happened.” Levi’s imperative raises important questions about the role of memory in the aftermath of atrocity and crisis. What is the difference between individual and collective memory? What is the purpose of remembering atrocity? What is the relationship between memory and justice? What gets forgotten in the collective memory and why? How might the memory of everyday crisis and long-term conflict figure into this framework? We will pursue such questions by examining specific genres and forms of collective memory that have contributed to understandings of atrocity and crisis in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in particular. We will consider how tribunals, memorials, archives, novels, and film have shaped, challenged, and revised the politics of remembering and forgetting contemporary atrocity and crisis. In addition to informal response papers, students will write 3 formal essays over the course of the semester. Readings may include works by Maurice Halbwachs, Maya Lin, Joshua Oppenheimer, and Fred Wilcox.


All Syllabi

Course Type

First-Year Program: Interdisciplinary Seminars (FIRST-UG)