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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2010


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Course Description

This course examines how WWII has been represented in cultural discourses, with a particular focus upon history museums. The aim of this course is to deepen the students' understanding of how a historical representation of a past event or period is constructed, and the ways in which a society transmits its history on to future generations We will first explore the multiple manifestations of war memory in our everyday life and ask ourselves the question: What is the function of a history museum which exhibits WWII? From the assigned readings and through a systematic study of museum websites, the students will develop an analytical set of criteria that they will apply to the numerous museums they will visit in the US and abroad. Secondly, we will examine the specific history of one country, France, during the war and compare it to contemporary media representations

Grading Policy

Grading: This course combines lectures and discussions of secondary readings as well as contemporary visual materials such as television documentaries, movies and websites. Critical and historical reflection will be emphasized through Individual research, presentations and essays. 25% class participation 45% 3 short essays (3-4 pages) analyzing documents, movies and history museums websites 30% 2 presentations


Reading list: Readings will include selections from the following works, among others: Douglas Crimp, On the Museum's Ruins Peter Davies, France and the Second World War Carol Duncan, Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums Richard Handler and Eric Gable, The New History in an Old Museum Sarah Farmer, Oradour sur Glane Rod Kedward, France and the French: a modern history James Edward Young, The Texture of Memory


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