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New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2022

GERM 65.10 Cultures of Memory

Contemporary Germany is often held up as a model of a “culture of memory”—a society whose introspective engagement with the horrors of its racist, fascist, and totalitarian pasts has not only resulted in countless museums and memorials but has also become part of the fabric of social life. This course examines how works of memory by key German writers, artists, and intellectuals over the past 70 years respond to collective amnesia and contend with the difficulties of remembering in the face of trauma.

Exploring the unique possibilities of different media of cultural memory, such as novels, poetry, theater, documentaries, photography, photo essays, museums, monuments, and memorials, the course will address key questions of memory studies: How do cultures of memory balance remembering the suffering of victims and the violence of perpetrators? In what sense do the children of perpetrators inherit the guilt of their parents’ generation? And why did a broad social engagement with the crimes of the Nazi past not begin in Germany until decades after the end of the World War II?

Seminar discussions will be conducted in German. For German Studies majors, the course serves as the Culminating Experience for the major.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.