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War and Memory in Graphic Novel and Film

Semester and Year SP 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1942
Section 001
Instructor Sophia Azeb
Days F
Time 2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
6:20 PM - 7:35 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   HUM



This course considers Theodor Adorno’s claim that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric,” to ask how a society’s collective memory accounts for war and how the arts influence our ability to “remember” war and its attendant traumas. To engage these issues we will focus on visually-based narratives, studying a variety of films and graphic novels that seek to preserve or provoke memories of the Shoah, the Nakba, the Algerian War for Independence, the Vietnam War, and the first Gulf War. The visual emphasis of the course content intends to enhance students’ visual literacy as well as contend with our society’s desire to “see” catastrophe in order to adequately know or “remember” it. This course charts a historical and theoretical approach to the question of “memory” in how such conflicts are represented once they are over. Whose memories are rendered visible or legible? What truths or falsehoods are revealed in the visual cultures of war? Alongside readings on memory and war by Lisa Yoneyama, Hannah Arendt, Jean Améry and other thinkers, assigned graphic novels and films may include Art Spiegelman’s  Maus , GB Tran’s  Vietnamerica , David O. Russell’s  Three Kings  and Rachid Bouchareb’s  Hors-la-loi .


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)