Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
cwgs masthead
Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2006

WGS 393 • Methods for Cultural Studies

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47767 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
EPS 4.102A

Course Description

This course serves as an introduction to cultural, literary, psychological, and historical concepts of cultural memory and trauma as they have developed over the past fifty years (separately and in conjunction) within the fields of literary and cultural studies. In order to explore the usage of these terms and their theoretical frameworks in both abstract and concrete terms, we examine a number of particular historical situations, debates, films, and literary texts from the recent German and U.S. cultural contexts that will serve as brief case studies (in more or less chronological order).

We will critically consider different theoretical approaches to notions of cultural and individual trauma and memory as they have developed in different historical and national and disciplinary context. In order to make this course one of practice as well as of theory, the main course assignment consists of the development of an elaborate case study of a cultural or literary phenomenon (within one national culture, or a comparison between different national contexts) of cultural trauma and/or memory, and an exploration of different theoretical approach(es) to find out which would work best to describe and analyze it.

Grading Policy

Class Participation: 20% Class Presentation 10% Short Presentation Paper 15% Case Study Resulting in Final Paper 55%.


Texts read in full or excerpts (subject to change:) Susanna Radstone, ed. Memory and Methodology. Judith Herman Trauma and Recovery. Ann Cvetkovich An Archive of Feelings. Ruth Leys Trauma: A Genealogy. Kali Tal Worlds of Hurt: Reading the Literatures of Trauma. Dominick LaCapra History in Transit: Experience, Identity, Critical Theory. Cathy Caruth, ed. Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Marianne Hirsch Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory. Dan Ben-Amos, and Liliana Weissberg, eds. Cultural Memory and the Construction of Identity. Mieke Bal, Jonathan Crewe, and Leo Spitzer, eds. Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present. Nancy K. Miller and Jason Tougaw, ed. Extremities: Trauma, Testimony, and Community. Penny Summerfield Reconstructing Women's Wartime Lives: Discourse and Subjectivity in Oral Histories of the Second World War. Konrad Jarausch and Michael Geyer. Shattered Past: Reconstructing German Histories. Martin Morris, ed. German Dis/Continuities. (Special issue of South Atlantic Quarterly) Michael Rothberg. Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation. Efraim Sicher, ed. Breaking Crystal: Writing and Memory after Auschwitz. Julia Epstein and Lori Hope Lefkovitz, eds. Shaping Losses: Cultural Memory and the Holocaust. Amy Hungerford. The Holocaust of Texts. Edward Linenthal Preserving Memory: The Struggle to Crate Americas Holocaust Museum. Vivian M. Patraka. Spectacular Suffering: Theatre, Fascism, and the Holocaust. Alan Mintz Popular Culture and the Shaping of Holocaust Memory in America. Dora Apel Memory Effects:The Holocaust and the Art of Secondary Witnessing Ernst van Alphen Caught by History: Holocaust Effects in Contemporary Art, Literature, and Theory. Carl Friedman Nightfather


bottom border