Honors | Literature of the Holocaust
H203 | 0012 | A. Rosenfeld


2:30-3:45P  TR  BH 246

Among the most compelling literatures of our day is that which records
and seeks to interpret the Nazi war of genocide against the Jews. This
course will introduce students to this literature and encourage them
to reflect upon many of the profund questions it raises. Some of these
questions will focus on literature's role in the shaping of historical
memory. How the past is represented and comes to acquire a future in
collective memory will be a preoccupying concern. Other questions will
focus on issues of the most serious intellectual, cultural, moral,
ethical, and religious kind. For instance, if it is true, as Elie
Wiesel claims, that at Auschwitz not only man died but also the idea
of man, how do we now conceive of the human? What does a person become
when nothing is any longer forbidden him? Why did art, intellect, and
religion not defend against political barbarism? Is idealism of any
kind still possible after Auschwitz? Is forgiveness possible? These
and related questions will preoccupy us over the course of the
semester.

The list of required readings for this course will include all or most
of the following:

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
Chaim A. Kaplan, Scroll of Agony: The Warsaw Diary of Chaim A. Kaplan
Elie Wiesel, Night
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved
Tadeusz Borowski, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen
Bernhard Schlink, The Reader
Simon Wiesenthal, The Sunflower

In addition to the above, there will be some mimeographed handouts of
poetry and other material, and at least one film will be shown.

Written work for the course will be discussed in class duriing the
first week of the semester.

Given the nature of the subject matter, this weill be a demanding
course. Students are expected to do the assinged readings on time,
attend all class meetings, and participate actively in class
discussions of the literature. Repeated unexcused absences will lower
your grade for the course.