Skip to Gallatin Navigation Skip to Gallatin Main Content

Transfer Student Research Seminar: Coming Home: Identity and Place

Semester and Year FA 2019
Course Number FIRST-UG1802
Section 001
Instructor Jennifer Lemberg
Days TR
Time 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Units 4
Level U


Open to Gallatin transfer students only. Permission required. To register, please contact Gallatin’s Transfer Student Class Advisers (


Historian Eric Hobsbawm famously referred to the last century as “the age of extremes,” an era of violence marked by “the destruction of the past.” Responding to this perceived break with history, many contemporary narratives seek to recover lost pasts by employing tropes of homecoming and return in order to bridge temporal and geographical gaps. Stories of coming home document the urgency with which we attempt to remember the past in the aftermath of trauma and invest specific places, or “sites of memory,” with the power of recall. Our class will investigate the linkages between identity and place as they are imagined in the aftermath of historical trauma in film, literature, and theory as well as practices including reparations and genealogy. The ways in which contemporary narratives treat the theme of coming home across boundaries of time and space and the role this idea plays in the construction of ethnic, racial, and national identities will serve as the impetus for frequent exploratory writing, formal essays, and a research paper. Readings will include selections from trauma theory, memory studies, fiction, and memoir by Svetlana Boym, Andreas Huyssen, Nadine Fresco, Phil Klay, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, and Jonathan Safran Foer, among others.


All Syllabi

Course Type

First-Year Program: Transfer Student Research Seminar (FIRST-UG)