History | War and Memory in the 20th Century
J301 | 11998 | Bucur-Deckard
Above class reserved for teacher certification Social Studies
Enrollment in other Education courses required.
Contact Dorothy Slota, Education 1064 for online authorization and
Above class COLL intensive writing section
How is life in the present shaped by our understanding about violent
events in the twentieth century? How is this understanding impacted
by the living memory of those who lived through World War II? How
does the abundance of memoirs, journals, letters, personally shared
stories, monuments, commemorations (e.g., Veterans Day, Memorial
Day), documentaries, and artistic/fictional accounts affect how we
relate to World War I and World War II? And how are these artifacts
relevant for how teachers can make the wars of the twentieth century
meaningful and relevant to new generations of students?
These questions will drive our examination over the semester of how
knowledge about the past is framed by memory, with a focus on the
two world wars and geographically on Europe. We will examine
journals, memoirs, film, art, monuments, commemorative events, and
historical narratives about the experience and meaning of total war
both between 1914-1918 and also 1939-1945, and we will consider
together the important differences in how understanding these events
is shaped by the genre of representing the past. In addition to
better understanding what these events have come to mean today in
our ‘collective memory’, this course will also invite students to
consider what remembering and forgetting in a commemorative and
historical sense mean for our values as a society at the beginning
of the 21st century.
Readings: We will read several articles (2-3)/week along with
primary sources and selections from the existing textbooks that deal
with these topics.
Requirements: Students will have to participate in class discussion
informally and by submitting readings responses; they will also have
to engage in critical examination of the primary sources (memoirs,
films, art) and the historical narratives we will read together. In
addition, they will have to a prepare lesson plan, webpage design
for a course or research project, or a research paper.