E 370W • Women's Narratives of the Holocaust and WWII
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course is meant to serve as an introduction to the history of Jewish and German women during WWII and the Holocaust and to women's narratives and self-representations of this period. The focus in this class is twofold:
1. We will examine the historical role of non-Jewish German and Jewish women during WWII and the Holocaust from different positions (bystander, perpetrator, victim, resister, rescuer) through autobiographical texts, films, and historical analyses.
2. We will examine autobiographical texts of these different women as self-representations that attempt to negotiate the different (and shifting) discourses on femininity and masculinity, and the role of women in the public and private sphere available during the war years. Although the texts (both autobiographical writing and interviews) sketch a picture of the experiences, roles and gender constructions of women during 1933-1945 that we seek to examine, we will not just use these texts as "eyewitness" documents of women's different (gendered) experience. Instead, we critically investigate how to interpret these texts.
Class attendance and participation (25%, 50 points)
Four 1-page response papers (5%, 10 points each = 20%, 40 points)
Class presentation (15%, 30 points)
4-5 pp Presentation paper (can be substantially revised & resubmitted) (15%, 30 points)
8-10 pp Final paper (25%, 50 points)
200-180 points = A, 179-160 = B, 159-140 = C, 139-120 = D
Texts: Carol Rittner and John K. Roth, eds. Different Voices: Women and the Holocaust; Bernhard Schlinck, The Reader; Erica Fischer, Aimee and Jaguar; A course packet, available from Speedway Copies in the Dobie mall
Films: Documentaries on Aimee and Jaguar and Lenie Riefenstahl; Excerpts from Helke Sander's BeFreiers, Befreite