E 322 • The Holocaust on the Stage
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
The Holocaust, more than any other event in recent history, has caused individuals and nations to rethink central questions of human existence, responsibility, morality, memory, and the function of art.
This course will explore how playwrights and directors in Germany, Israel, and the United States have represented the Holocaust in drama and on the stage over the last fifty years. This historical and comparative approach highlights the different roles that the Holocaust has played over time and in the consciousness of these nations: it will help us understand the role the destruction of European Jewry has played in Israel, a country that came into existence in the shadow of this traumatic event, how Germany, as the nation of perpetrators and their heirs, has dealt with its past, and how Americans and American Jews have responded to these events.
As understanding and memory of the Holocaust evolve, taboos get broken and sacred images destroyed by each new generation of playwrights. What do these plays and their reception tell us about German, Israeli, and American society? What continuities and discontinuities in regards to discourse, representation, images, and stereotypes can we find in these plays? How has this discourse changed in the course of some fifty years since the Holocaust? And what accounts for these dis/continuities?
Discussion and active class participation 20%
Final Exam 15%
2 short papers (3 pages) 20%
Final Paper: draft (3 pages) 10%
Final version (7-8 pages) 20%
Skloot, Robert, ed., The Theatre of the Holocaust, Vol. 2
Taub, Michael, ed., Israeli Holocaust Drama
Goodrich/Hackett, The Diary of Anne Frank
Hochhuth, The Deputy