WGS 340 • Holocoaust Aftereffects-Honors
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
The events of the Holocaust changed Western culture in fundamental ways. Not only was a great part of European Jewish culture destroyed, the circumstances of the Nazi genocide as a modern, highly rationalized, efficient form of mass murder which took place in the heart of civilized Europe changed the conception of the progress of modernity and the Enlightenment in fundamental ways. This course explores the cultural and philosophical fall out and the literary response in Europe and the U.S. to these events as they first became known, and as one moved further away from it in time and came to understand its pronounced and often problematic after effects. These after effects range from the political (we discuss the Cold War ideology and its influence on European and U.S. politics well into the1980s), the philosophical (how to understand (post) modernity and the Enlightenment after the Holocaust), to the cultural (we look at different war trials, the European student movement of the late 1960s and the German RAF terrorists of the late 1970s, and the latest war asset scandals), to the artistic, as we look at literature, photography and film that has responded in provocative ways to the Holocaust in the past five decades. Central to our inquiry is the realization that the events of the Holocaust have left indelible traces in European and U.S. culture, of which a closer look, decade by decade, reveals profound insights into current day culture, politics, and society.
20%: Attendance/Participation 20%: Response papers (4) 10%: Class presentation 10%: Presentation paper 40%: Final research paper
Films we will see (excerpts of): Nuit et Buillard (1955) The Holocaust (1978) Shoah (1985) Schindlers List (1993) The following books are available from the UT Co-op: Michael Berenbaum, Abraham Peck, eds. The Holocaust and History: Indiana UP, USHMM ISBN 0 253 21529 3 Yehuda Bauer. Rethinking the Holocaust. Yale UP ISBN 0 300 09300 4 Art Spiegelman. MAUS I and II. Pantheon Books ISBN 0 679 72977 1 Ruth Kluger. Still Alive: A Girlhood Remembered. The Feminist Press ISBN 155861271 8 Bernhard Schlink. The Reader. New York: Vintage International, 1997. ISBN: 0-679-78130-7 Primo Levi. Survival in Asuchwitz. Collier Books ISBN 0 02 029192 2 A course pack will contain excerpts from various books.