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Elective: Holocaust Icons in Monuments, Arts, Films and Literature

Vak
2016-2017

Admission requirements

This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

Collective memory of the Shoah is produced by testimonies such as Anne Frank’s diary, by documentaries such as Lanzmanns Shoah, by works of literature, by mainstream movies like Schindler’s List, or in artworks, musea and rituals performed at memorial sites. In the dual context of both memory studies and representation analysis we will look at the different functions and effects that such works had over time in the construction of cultural memory.
In this interactive class, the central topics of Shoah-memory will be discussed: memory and oblivion, truth and narrative, documentation, the archive, sacralisation, irony, autobiography, Shoah-idols, aura and authenticity, and the function of mass-media. Among the cases discussed and visited will be sites like ‘De Hollandsche Schouwburg’ and the Anne Frank House, digital memorials such as the online Jewish monument, work by Abel Herzberg, Carl Friedman, Primo Levi, Yael Bartana and Arnon Grunberg.
Representation analysis will demonstrate in which ways the Shoah is represented in different periods and contexts, and to which effects. We will discover how collective memory is constructed by the different representations. Theoretical texts by Saul Friedländer, Oren Baruch Stier, Hillary Chute, Andreas Huyssen, Ernst van Alphen and Aleida Assmann will be used in our analyses.

Additionally, the students will work through W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Course objectives

You will acquire knowledge of the different ways in which memory may be produced in art, film and literature, and additionally become aware of cultural and politcal dynamics in the representation and remembrance of historical events. In this course, you will also learn to write and present well argumented and theoretically strong analyses and interpretations of such works, and you will be able to recognize and evaluate the icons, idols and clichés of Shoah representation.
Academic skills that are trained include:
Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.
Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.
Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.
Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

  • Weekly Seminar and supervised research.
    • Excursion to the Hollandse Schouwburg and the Anne Frankhouse in Amsterdam.

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours, broken down by:
• Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 28 hours
• Time for studying the compulsory literature: 80 uur hours
• Completion of short assignments: 40 hours
• Researching and writing final paper: 80 hours
• Other components: preparing for exam: 44 hours
• Excursion: 8 hours

Assessment method

Assessment and Weighing

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):.
• Mid-term Exam (30%)
• Collaborative assignments (10%)
• Presentation and research plan (20%)
• Essay (40%)

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

To pass the course, the weighted average has to be 5.5 at least.

Resit

In case of resubmission of the final essay (insufficient grade only) the final grade for the essay will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion. The deadline for resubmission is 10 days after receiving the grade for the final essay.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  • Primo Levi, If this is a man. Translation Stuart Woolf.
    • Tadeusz Borowski, This way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen.
    • Art Spiegelman, Maus, 2 parts.
    • Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank.
    • Alphen, E. Van. (1997) Caught by history. Holocaust effects in Contemporary Art, Literature and Theory. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    • Friedländer, S. (ed.). Probing the limits of representation. Nazism and ‘the final solution’. Cambridge, Ma, Harvard University Press. Introduction.
    • Stier, O.B. (2003) Committed to memory. Cultural Mediations of the Holocaust. Amherst and Boston, University of Massachusetts Press.
    • W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
    Further reading will be announced in class.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

Prof. Dr. Y. van Dijk

Remarks

The deadline for submission of the final essay is 9 June 2017.

Passing this course is an entry requirement for the thesis and thesis seminar, elective year 3, and Practising Internatonal Studies.