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Syllabus Cultures of Memory in Germany and Europe - 54807
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Last update 04-09-2019
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

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

Semester: 1st Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann

Coordinator Office Hours: Wednesdays, 10:00 - 12:00

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht Hartmann

Course/Module description:
The course introduces the impact of memory on post-war German and European culture and society. Particularly in Germany, memory cultures, especially those related to the Nazi past, have a significant impact on national self-perception. Similarly, the European Union adopted politics of memory as central aspect of constructing a sense of shared but contested European identity. The course evaluates central chapters of Germany’s (and Europe’s) coming to terms with the Nazi past. We will focus on various memory concepts as well as realm of memory and discuss new challenges for memory culture in the digital age.

Course/Module aims:
We will focus on significant realms of memory: monuments, memorials, memoryscapes and testimonies; compare German memory culture with ways of dealing with the past in other countries (such as Austria), discuss different memory concepts, such as communicative, cultural and media memory, traveling memories, multidirectional memory, and transnational memory.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
- contextualize and analyze German postwar memory culture in a comparative European context
- compare and evaluate changes and developments in German, Austrian and European memory cultures
- reflect the impact of memory on (shifting) identities
- analyze different forms and media of memory (including memorial sites, monuments, films, digital media)
- read and understand theoretical concepts of memory
- reflect changes and challenges of memory culture in the digital age

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: The course combines the historical reconstruction of postwar German and current European memory cultures with key texts from the discipline of memory studies. Students contribute different tasks: analyzing and presenting memorials, critically reflecting theoretical articles and discussing public expressions of memory within new teaching and presentation formats.

Course/Module Content:
- Introduction: Cultures of Memory – From Communicative to Cultural Memory
- Coming to terms with the past in Germany: From a Culture of Forgetting to New Culture of Memory
- Coming to terms with the past in Austria: From the first Victim to Contested Memories
- Contested Memories and Negative Founding Myths: European (Holocaust) Memory
- Memoryscapes and Sites of Memory
- Voices of Memory
- Monuments, Memorials, Sites of Commemoration
- Transnational, Traveling and Transcultural Memory
- Media Memory
- Multidirectional Memory
- Memory in the Digital Age
- Conclusion: “Start Feeling” –Memory in First Person

Required Reading:
Assmann, J. (1995). “Collective memory and cultural identity.” New German Critique 65, 125- 133.

Assmann, A. (2015) “Transformations of Holocaust Memory: Frames of Transmission and Mediation.” In: Holocaust-Cinema in the Twenty-First Century: Memory, Images, and the Ethics of Representation. Ed. Oleksandr Kobrynskyy and Gerd Bayer. New York: Wallflower, 2015. 23-40.

Uhl, H. (2011). Of Heroes and Victims: World War II in Austrian Memory. Austrian History Yearbook, 42, pp. 185-200.

Judt, T. (1992). “The Past is Another Country: Myth and Memory in Postwar Europe.” Daedalus 121:4, 83-118.

Nora, P. (1989). “Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire.“ Representations, 26, pp. 7-24.

Assmann, A. (2006). “History, Memory, and the Genre of Testimony.” Poetics Today 27:2, pp. 261-273.

Young, J. E. (1993). The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning (New Haven: Yale Univ. Pr.), pp. 1-15.

Erll, A (2011). “Travelling Memory.” Parallax, 17:4, pp. 4-18.

Neiger, M, Meyers, O, & Zandberg, E (2011). „On Media Memory – editors' introduction.” In: On Media Memory: Collective Memory in a new Media Age. Eds. Neiger, M., Meyers, O. & Zandberg, E. London: Palgrave McMillan, 1-26.

Rothberg, M. (2014). “Multidirectional memory in migratory settings: the case of post-holocaust Germany.” Transnational memory: circulation, articulation, scales. Ed. Chiara De Cesari, Ann Rigney. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 123-45.

Kansteiner, Wulf. “The Holocaust in the 21st Century: Digital Anxiety, Cosmopolitanism on Steroids, and Never Again Genocide without Memory”. In: Digital Memory Studies. Ed. Andrew Hoskins. London: Routledge, 2017.

Hoskins, Andrew. “Memory ecologies.” Memory Studies, 9:3 (2016), pp. 348- 357.

A full reading list will be provided at the beginning of the seminar.

Additional Reading Material:
Levy, D. and N. Sznaider. The Holocaust and Memory in the Global Age. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006.

Olick, J. K. (2016). The sins of the fathers: Germany, memory, method. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press 2016.

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 25 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 50 %
Assignments 15 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 10 %
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.