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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Spring 2006

AMS 370 • Memory and Place-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
28620 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
GAR 301

Course Description

"The past is never dead. It's not even past." - William Faulkner

This course explores how cultural memory is created and operates in the United States. For individuals and groups alike, memory forms an essential component of their social identity; by definition, it involves sharing, discussion, negotiation, and conflict. Cultural memory is produced in various formsfrom memorials, public art, and commodities to popular culture, rituals, and museumsand is inevitably anchored in place. Museums and memorials, for example, have been historically built as official places of memory in prominent cities to communicate a sense of national history and citizenship. Yet, due to the distinct interests of diverse social groups, the pasts to be remembered in these locales are open to multiple interpretations. We will address those multiple interpretationsand ensuing conflictsby canvassing a wide array of case studies that draw from literatures in American studies, geography, history, anthropology, media studies, and architecture.


(a sampling of the kinds of materials we will read in this class) David Lowenthal, The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History. Barbie Zelizer, Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory Through the Camera's Eye. Edward Linenthal, The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory. Roy Rosenzweig and David Thelen, The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life. Erika Doss, Elvis Culture: Fans, Faith, and Image. Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War. Dolores Hayden, The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History. Richard Flores, Remembering the Alamo: Memory, Modernity, and the Master Symbol Kenneth E. Foote, Shadowed Ground: Americas Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy


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