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

Spring 2009

AMS 370 • Memory and Place-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29395 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
BUR 436A

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.


Possible Texts 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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