Holocaust in American Memory (3 cr.)
HIST-A 379 Issues in Modern United States History #12827
We will examine the ever-changing constructions of Holocaust memory in the United States, from the revelations of the horrors of the concentration and death camps in the spring of 1945, through the challenge of Holocaust remembrance in personal testimony, film, and physical memorials. Through lecture and discussion, we will think together about Terrence Des Pres’ assertion that we are defined by the “predicament of aftermath.” Is it the case that we have “never been able to assimilate the implications” of the Holocaust? What does it mean to “assimilate” these “implications?” What are these implications? How does the Holocaust live on in American remembrance, and why should the United States be so invested in the memory of a European genocide? Readings will include Peter Novick, The Holocaust in American Life, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Edward Linenthal’s Preserving Memory: the Struggle to Create America’s Holocaust Museum, Lawrence Langer’s Holocaust Testimonies: the Ruins of Memory, and Robert Abzug’s Inside the Vicious Heart: Americans and the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps.
Essay examinations and a short paper.