INAF-251 Holocaust Literature
Fall for 2016-2017
More than half a century later, the Holocaust remains one of the most traumatic events of modern Western experience. The shock of the catastrophe sets up a tension between a desire to efface, forget, or disbelieve and an even stronger imperative to record, reveal, and remember what the imagination could not have invented. This seminar will explore a range of responses to the Holocaust through the study of a variety of texts and films drawn from different nationalities, languages, genres, and points of view. Using documents, memoirs, fiction, historiography, and cinematic images, we will examine the place of atrocity and loss in shaping narrative memory, the production of history and historical memory (and the differences between these), and the sets of cultural meanings that an event acquires. We will also examine the way that Holocaust literature shapes a contemporary sense of exile, diaspora or home, and how it challenges our notions of national and linguistic borders.
Among the authors we will read are: Abraham Sutzkever, Anne Frank, Primo Levi, Charlotte Delbo, Chaim Grade, André Schwarz-Bart. Uri Orlev, Elie Wiesel and Cynthia Ozick.All works will be read in English translation from the originals. Films, as well as critical, theoretical, and historical texts, will all inform our discussions. This course fulfills the HALC and intensive writing requirements of the core program.
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