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Cultural Memory of War and Conflict

From Apartheid in South-Africa to 9/11 in the United States: there is not a single culture that is not shaped by collective memories of war, conflict, or other moments of crisis. This minor focuses on how such memory cultures influence and shape societies today. How do these memories contribute to the construction of religious, national and transnational identities?

We will analyze the afterlife of catastrophes such as Trans-Atlantic slavery, the Holocaust or the two World Wars. How were these remembered, archived, and mediated? We will study how governments, institutions, minority groups, or artists create, repeat, critique memory cultures, but also how memory can be manipulated and used for different political purposes. Students learn to analyze and interpret the effects of different (new) media and of various forms of transfer and dissemination of memory: archives, websites, lieux de mémoire, monuments, tourism, testimonies, art and literature.

The courses “Postcolonial Memory” and “Cultural Memory of World War I and II” will give introductions to central concepts and theories of collective memory and apply to them to different case studies that illustrate how the past shaped social and cultural identities in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In the other courses, emphasis is on memory-construction in both individual and collective context, on trauma and on the cultural representation of these violent events in different media but also in rituals, stories, monuments or theme parks. The course “Memory and the Environment” studies how human societies experience and remember change in their natural environments. We will also study how ecological crises, such as the “Dust Bowl”, catastrophic flooding events, or our current climate crisis, are remembered and how they shape our awareness of change in nature.

You will learn to analyze the dynamics of remembering and forgetting of major political, ethnic and religious conflicts with global ramifications. In papers and assignments you are stimulated to apply the theory and method to a case from your own background or field of study. This will help you develop skills that will be of value in for example a profession in international relations, law, politics, heritage, cultural transfer, education or media and journalism.

This minor is very suitable for students who follow the BA International Studies. It is possible in BAIS to divide your minor over two semesters, only you will need to contact your coordinator of studies, to adapt your third year programme.

Maximum number of participants: 50

Prospectus number: 5000MCMWCN

Language: English

Registration: via EduXchange

LEI students 15 May (13:00hrs) to 4 July 2024

TUD and EUR students 15 May (13:00hrs) to 31 May 2024


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

First semester

Memory and Decolonization 10
Cultural Memory of World War I & II 5

Second semester

The Holocaust: Prefigurations and Cultural Representations 5

Choose one of the electives:

Memory and the Environment 10
Slavery and Memory in the Black Atlantic 10

More info


  • Extent: 30 EC (spread over 2 semesters, or 15 EC in semester 1)

  • Intended for: students from all disciplines

  • Language of instruction: English

  • Websites: Minors in English

  • Coordinator: J.M. Müller PhD (for thematic questions about the Minor)

  • More information: study adviser and education coordinator (for administrative and study related questions)

  • Board of Examiners: Duitse Taal en Cultuur

  • Education Committee: Duitse Taal en Cultuur

  • Registration:
    LEI students 15 May (13:00hrs) to 4 July 2024
    TUD and EUR students 15 May (13:00hrs) to 31 May 2024
    Request an eduID account to register in EduXchange. On how to do this, watch Explore & register for your minor via eduXchange.

From July, register separately for the courses via MyStudymap (only applies to LEI students).

Follow-on master's programme

Not applicable.


  • Students who follow the programme for 30 EC choose 15 EC of courses per semester. In the second semester you follow a mandatory course of 5 EC and you choose an elective course of 10 EC.

  • This programme can also be followed for 15 EC in the first semester.