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

Fall 2007

AMS 370 • Memory and Place-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30455 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
BUR 228

Course Description

Upper-division standing required. Contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing.

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.

Grading Policy

This course will be taught as a combination of lecture, discussion based on our readings, and fieldwork. As a seminar depends on informed discussions, students will be expected to attend class regularly, read all the materials before our meetings, and come to class prepared to participate. The course contains a substantial writing component; written work will include one four-page fieldwork essay; one six-page term paper, and six one-page critical reflections on weekly reading assignments.


Barbie Zelizer, Remembering to Forget: Holocaust Memory Through the Camera's Eye. Sanford Levinson, Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies Edward Linenthal, The Unfinished Bombing: Oklahoma City in American Memory. Emily S. Rosenberg, A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor 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. Kenneth E. Foote, Shadowed Ground: Americas Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy Art Spiegelman, In the Shadow of No Towers


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