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Syllabus Digital Memory Culture - 54612

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Last update 03-09-2020
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: Cont. German Studies:politics, Soc.&Cult

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann

Coordinator Office Hours: Monday, 10:00-11:00

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht Hartmann

Course/Module description:
The emergence of digital technology posed significant challenges as well as opportunities on the preservation and transmission of memory in globalized societies. Although memory was always mediated, digitization offered new and unforeseen storage space for mnemonic objects. Accessibility increased beyond the physical access to archival collections. Documents, photographs, films and testimonies turned into data, which could be related to other data and metadata, thereby constituting a complex net of interlinked memories. Search engines invited users other than experts to explore past events, however, these search functions also offered new and active ways of using, interpreting and transforming records from the past. Social networks rapidly became new memory ecologies, offering a space for sharing memory and adapting analogue forms of commemoration for new media environment. Artificial intelligence and machine learning now enable algorithm based forms of interactively engaging with the past, virtual and augmented realities intensify and advance the encounter with historical sites and computer games introduce new immersive formats of playing the past.

Course/Module aims:
This course focuses on the transformation of collective memory and commemorative practices in the digital age. Based on changing conceptualizations of memory cultures from static collective to dynamic connective memory, we explore a variety of digital formats in historical perspective that offer new and engaging ways of accessing history. While we focus mainly on the specific area of Holocaust memory, which on the one hand has very specific implications and on the other hand played a pioneering role in the development of digital media cultures, we mainly focus on the changing position of the user, especially in context of social media environment and concerning the users position in advanced technological configurations such as Augmented and Virtual Reality. A specific focus will be on the transformation of Holocaust memory in times of COVID-19.
Holocaust related projects, however, will be contextualised also with the use of digital applications in other mnemonic contexts.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
- learning about digital forms of commemoration, and the transformation of memory culture in the digital age
- engaging into contemporary discourses on memory cultures
- analysing digital commemorative projects, and applying knowledge of narrative, stylistic and technological conventions in order to understand digital cultures of memory as social and historiographical mediators in the globalised age
- using and applying theoretical and empirical concepts of memory (including memory conflicts) on digital visual culture
- conducting independent research on digital culture products and platforms

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: TbC

Course/Module Content:
1) Introduction: From collective to connective memory 17 March 2021

2) Digital turning point: USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive 7 April 2021

3) New Dimensions in Testimony: USC Holograms 21 April 2021

4) Playing the Holocaust: Games as commemorative space 28 April 2021

5) Virtual Memoryscapes 5 May 2021

6) Augmented Spaces 12 May 2021

7) Selfie culture and self-witnessing 19 May 2021

8) Eva Stories, TikTok POV and Social Media Memory 26 May 2021

9) Digital Memory Project: Corona and Memory 2 June 2021

10) Engaging with the past (VHH) 9 June 2021

11) Experiencing Multilayered memory (INakba) 16 June 2021

12) Hashtag Memories (Throwback89 / @Krieg7071) 23 June 2021

13) Conclusion 30 June 2021

Required Reading:
A full reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Additional Reading Material:
A full reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course.

Find information here:

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 60 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 20 %
Research project 20 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.