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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3034 From Trauma to Cultural Memory: The Unfinished Business of Representation and the Holocaust

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Dr Anna Koch
Email: a.koch@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1, Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits from any ARTF-coded module or appropriate equivalent in a relevant discipline. In the latter case, students are advised to get in touch with the module leader to discuss eligibility prior to enrolment

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module addresses debates in literary, historiographical and psychological theory about the ways in which witnesses provide testimony, and the ways in which the legacy of a historical trauma of the magnitude of the Holocaust is represented by historians, sociologists, writers, artists and museums. Students will be introduced to the debates about Holocaust and 'the limits of representation', for instance, by comparing Schindler's List with Claude Lanzmann's Shoah.Autobiographies of survivors will be studied. The issues of witness and the process of testimony will be addressed through the work of the Yale Archive. Aspects of contemporary moves to memorialisation in art and through museums devoted to Holocaust commemoration and education will be analysed. There will be a section on psychoanalytic perspectives on the transmission of trauma to the children of survivors.Rather than an historical study of the events of 1933-45, this module enables students to consider the continuing significance of this disaster in the larger context of European history through close attention to the voices and images of those who continue to live with a trauma that only psychological, analytical, creative work can turn into memory which the cultures of Europe must themselves take on as the history that continues to shape our present responses to all forms of racism, genocide and violence against the stranger.

Objectives

The aims and objectives of this module are to consider the continuing significance of the events known as the Holocaust or Shoah as they enter representation. The module will consider testimony and oral archives of survivor's witness, current moves to create Holocaust museums, artistic projects of memorialisation and counter-memory, autobiographical narratives and films, psychotherapeutic work with the generations of survivors' children.
Cinematic attempts to respond to the Holocaust will also be studied. These voices, words and images pose the question of what it is that is struggling into or out of representation and what it means for everyone living in the shadow of this major event in western modernity.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of an interdisciplinary selection of cultural artefacts and texts on the Holocaust.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the development of ways of representing and conceptualizing the Holocaust from the post-war to the present day
- Demonstrate their understanding of key ideas such as trauma, testimony, cultural memory and the limits of representation
- Pursue their own considered position on debates on representation and memorialization of the Holocaust

Skills outcomes
- Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument
- Use of audio visual aids
- Participation in group discussions
- Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information
- Using bibliographies and databases.


Syllabus

Studying films, autobiographies, visual art and archives of oral testimony, the module will address a range of debates in literary, historiographical and psychological theory about the ways in which witnesses provide testimony, and the ways in which the legacy of a historical trauma of the magnitude of the Holocaust is currently being represented by historians, sociologists, writers, artists and museums.
Thus the students will be introduced to the debates about Holocaust and 'the limits of representation' (Saul Friedlander), for instance, by comparing Schindler's List with Claude Lanzmann's Shoah. Autobiographies of survivors from many different countries and situations will be studied (Bauman, Kofman, Perec, Levi).
The issues of witness and the process of testimony will be addressed through the work of the Yale Archive (Laub, Primo Levi). Aspects of contemporary moves to memorialisation in art and through museums devoted to Holocaust commemoration and education will be analysed (Young and Rogoff). There will be a section on psychoanalytic perspectives on the transmission of trauma to the children of survivors looking (Wardi).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings103.0030.00
Seminar102.0020.00
Independent online learning hours30.00
Private study hours120.00
Total Contact hours50.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

In order to encourage students to reflect on the films screened they are required to write a weekly review of each film and post it on the VLE.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- attendance at seminars
- registers kept
- participation in class discussions
- entries on the VLE

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000-3,000 word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Exam with advance information on questions1 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/09/2019

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