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ENG 5138-01: Studies in Film
Spring 2008 Wednesdays 6:45-9:30 p.m., Williams 317 and for viewings and tech training Thursdays 6:45-9:30 Williams 013

Human Rights and the Politics of Traumatic Memory: Visualizing the Holocaust through Film

Hands Heart Legs Womb

Course Aims/Description:

This class uses an interdisciplinary approach (drawing principally from film theory, critical theory, cultural studies, literature, the visual arts, and human rights law) to answer the following questions:

  1. How do we construct a sense of “justice” and “human rights” in the face of the Holocaust?
  2. Is there a “proper” or “commensurate” way to represent the Holocaust through film alongside literature, art or critical theory?
  3. What is the role of memory (and institutionalized history) in our relationship to the trauma of the Holocaust?
  4. What roles do popular culture, and particularly film, play in visualizing the Holocaust?
  5. What roles do literature, visual art, and critical theory play in memorializing the Holocaust?
  6. How do film genre conventions shape the way in which we visualize the Holocaust?
  7. How do the different media/forms of expression (literature, poetry, art) differentially enable us and limit us in "getting at" the experience of the Holocaust?
  8. How does stereotyping of race, gender, class, sexuality, and other factors influence the way in which we sift the “facts” from the “fictions” of representing the Holocaust?

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