Julia Safronova (European University at Saint Petersburg)


From 12:45
to 14:15
From 12:45
to 14:15

Course description
This theoretical course aims to provide students with knowledge about the periodization of memory studies, and gives a general overview of the basic works and key topics in memory studies. During the course students will read and discuss the most influential works on memory (M. Halbwachs, Jan Assmann, Aleida Assmann, P.Nora, etc). We discuss the relationship between history/historiography and memory, the similarities and differences in concepts of collective memory and cultural memory.
One part of the course is devoted to problems of ethnicity and questions of construction of national identity connected with historical memory. These cases help us to show students different ways towards memory studies, difficulties and limitations of methods. In the end of the course we will have a discussion about today’s situation in the field of historical memory. We will also discuss several works that stated the problem of dissolution of the concept of memory and put in question its heuristic value. Students will concentrate on the following key topics that are important current status of memory studies: memory and trauma, mourning, practices and culture of death, amnesia, generations and memory, memory of social, memory in the epoch of globalization, new media and their connection with memory.

Teaching methods
1. To encourage active participation in the workshop.
2. To turn writing into the key element of our discussions and develop the ability to summarize research papers, their results and arguments.
3. To create an atmosphere of collegial relations as a foundation for intellectual life.
Success in achieving these goals depends on the participants of the seminar as individuals and as a team.

The heart of the seminar is the discussion in class. The success of this discussion depends on the preparedness of all students. Everyone should have read the week’s assigned readings before class. The seminar will center on their discussion.
I am open for changes in respect of the readings for the second part of the class, the case studies. We will have to adjust the assignments to the size of the class.

Each seminar is led by one of the students (seminar leader). The task of the leader is to organize a discussion on the proposed texts: they think through the general course of the discussion, prepare additional materials, etc.
Each of the students prepares from two to four questions for discussion in advance and sends them to the seminar leader and teachers 24 hours before the start of the lesson at the latest.
The questions should relate to the main topics of the materials discussed and the problems of argument and method. They should be analytical in nature: the main thing here is not what the author writes, but how they argue. Good questions do not imply yes or no answers. They avoid phrases: “Do you agree that …” and “Does this mean that …” Instead, good questions begin with “how,” “why,” “in what sense,” “for what purpose.” They initiate further discussion.
After the lesson, the workshop leader prepares a written statement at least 2,000 characters long. It can be a detailed answer to one of the questions proposed by the group; reflections on all the texts read; an analysis of the discussion; a criticism of the questions posed; or their own proposal. The statement is sent to the entire group a day before the next lesson. A new lesson begins with a discussion of the sent statement.

Research projects
Students’ research projects are an important component of the course. Each student will choose a topic related to cultural memory early on in consultation with me. Work will be structured and developed during the course of the semester, leading from a brief proposal and preliminary bibliography to a short paper and culminating in students’ presentations and a final paper. Learning from one’s own research and others will give you a direct experience of the richness and diversity of the field of collective memory

Evaluation methods
Leadership and class participation 30%
Project proposal (2 pages + bibliography) 10%
Short paper (5 pages+ bibliography) 20%
Final paper (8-10 pages + bibliography) 40%

Topic: to be discussed and approved by instructor by October 11.
Project proposal (2 pages + bibliography) by November 8
Short Paper (5 pp + bibliography) – by November 22
Final paper (8-10 pp + bibliography) – by December 13

Part I. Theory
Week 1: A. Introduction
Review of course plan and goals; key questions and themes in the study of collective memory; discussion of research project.

Suggested Reading:
Klein K. On the Emergence of Memory in Historical Discourse. Representations 70 (Winter 2000), 127-150.
Connerton, P. "Social Memory." Chapter 1 in How Societies Remember. Cambridge University Press, 1989. [Preview with Google Books]

Week 1: B. Lecture + Discussion
Introductory Overviews of the Development of Memory Studies
Required Reading:
Kansteiner, Wulf. Finding Meaning in Memory: A Methodological Critique of Memory Studies. History and Theory 41.2 (2002): 179-197.
Radstone S. Memory studies: For and against. Memory Studies, Vol. 1, (Jan, 2008): 31-39.
*This class doesn’t need the leader, but I’m waiting your questions 24 hours before the start of the lesson

Week 2:A. Lecture. ‘Collective Memory’ by Maurice Halbwachs
Recommended further reading:
Halbwachs M. The Collective Memory. New York: Harper & Row, 1980. (“Individual Memory and Collective Memory," 22-49.
Hutton P. History as an Art of Memory (Maurice Halbwachs as Historian). UPNE, 1993, 73-90

Week 2:B. Seminar. History and/or Memory?
Required Reading:
Halbwachs M. The Collective Memory. New York: Harper & Row, 1980. ("Historical Memory and Collective Memory," 50-87)
Gensburger S. Halbwachs’ studies in collective memory: A founding text for contemporary ‘memory studies’? // Journal of Classical Sociology 2016, Vol. 16(4) 396–413.

Week 3: A. Lecture. ‘Cultural Memory’ – Jan and Aleida Assmann
Recommended further reading:
Assmann, Aleida, Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives (New York, 2011).
Week 3: B. Seminar. ‘Cultural Memory’ – Jan and Aleida Assmann
Required Reading:
Assmann J. Collective Memory and Cultural Identity //New German Critique, 65 (1995), 125-133.
“Memory and Cultural History, “in A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies, ed. Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning (Berlin, 2010), 98-119

*** Research Topic to be discussed and approved by October 11
Week 4: A. Lecture. "Sites" (lieux) of Memory – Pierre Nora
Recommended further reading:
Nora P. Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de memoire," // Representations, 26 (Spring, 1989), 7-25.

Week 4. B. Seminar. Sites (lieux) of Memory. Examples 1. France
Required Reading:
Nora, Pierre, „Introduction,“ in Rethinking France = Les lieux de mémoire (Chicago, 2001)
Winock M. Joan of Arc. In Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past; New York: Columbia University Press, 1996-98). V 3. Identification.
Week 5. A. Seminar. Sites (lieux) of Memory. Examples 2.
Required Reading:
“Italian luoghi della memoria“in A Companion to Cultural Memory Studies, ed. Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning (Berlin, 2010), 27-37
You read one of three articles, but each of them have to be read at least one of the students.

1. Giamo B. The Myth of the Vanquished: The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum // American Quarterly 55(2003), 703-728.
2. Kohn R. History and the Culture Wars: The Case of the Smithsonian Institution's Enola Gay Exhibition // Journal of American History 82:3(1995), 1036–63.
3. Sherwin M. Hiroshima as Politics and History // Journal of American History 82:3(1995), 1085-1093.

Week 5. B. Seminar. Sites (lieux) of Memory. Examples 3.
Each student finds an example of site of memory from his/her own country and makes short report. You may use any literature or make your own small research/starting your finial research.

Part II. Nation, ethnicity and memory
Week 6. A. Lecture+Discussion. Nation, ethnicity and memory
Required Reading:
Renan E. What is a Nation?”

*This class doesn’t need the leader, but I’m waiting your questions 24 hours before the start of the lesson

Week 6: Seminar. The Invention of Tradition

Required Reading:
Hobsbawm E. Introduction. Inventing Tradition. In Eric Hobsbawm & Terence Ranger, ed. The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge University Press, 1983.
Trevor-Roper H. The Invention of Tradition. The Highland Traditions of Scotland. In Eric Hobsbawm & Terence Ranger, ed. The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge University Press, 1983.
*** Research proposals by Nov. 8
Week 7. A. Seminar. How Nations Remember?
Required Reading:
Wertsch J. How Nations Remember. 2021. Chapter 6. Managing nation memory. P. 199-131
Yael Zerubavel, “Transhistorical Encounters in the Land of Israel: National Memory, Symbolic Bridges, and the Literary Imagination,” Jewish Social Studies 11:3 (Spring/Summer 2005):115-40

Week 7: Seminar. Nation, ethnicity and memory. Examples.
Required Reading:
Gross Jan Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton, 2001), 3-13, 122-142, 171-173.
The Neighbors Respond : The Controversy over the Jedwabne Massacre in Poland, edited by Antony Polonsky, et al., Princeton University Press, 2003. P. 138-141
Tornquist-Plewa, Barbara. The Jedwabne Killings - a Challenge for Polish Collective Memory : the Polish Debate on "Neighbours" / B. Tornquist-Plewa In: Echoes of the Holocaust : Historical Cultures in Contemporary Europe / ed.: K.-G. Karlsson, U. Zander. - Lund, Sweden : Nordic Academic Press, 2003.

Midterm break

Part III Discussions
Week 8: A. Lecture. Trauma studies
Recommended further reading:
Caruth C. Introduction // Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1995

Week 8: B Seminar. Cultural trauma
Required Reading:
Jeffrey Alexander Towards a Theory of Cultural Trauma. In Alexander et al., Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. University of California Press.
Ron Eyerman The Trauma of Slavery and the Formation of Afro-American Identity from Emantioation to Civil Right. In Alexander et al., Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. University of California Press.

Week 9. A. Seminar Testimony and Trauma
Required Reading:
Dominick LaCapra, Writing History, Writing Trauma (U of Johns Hopkins Press, 2000), pp. 141-180.
Kelly Oliver, Witnessing: Beyond Recognition (Minnesota U Press, 2001), 85-106 [Preview with Google Books]

Week 9. B. Seminar. Trauma studies critiques
Required Reading:
Kansteiner W., Weilnboeck H. Against the Concept of W K H Cultural Trauma (or How I Learned to Love the Suffering of Others without the Help of Psychotherapy In Cultural Memory Studies : An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook, edited by Astrid Erll, and Ansgar Nünning, De Gruyter, Inc., 2008. 229-240.
Etkind A. Warped Mourning : Stories of the Undead in the Land of the Unburied / A. M. Etkind. - Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, 2013. 25-43.

*** Short Paper - Nov. 22

Week 10 A. Seminar. Traumatic Memory and Postmemory
Required Reading:
Hirsch, Marianne. "Surviving Images: Holocaust Photographs and the Work of Postmemory." The Yale Journal of Criticism, vol. 14 no. 1, 2001, p. 5-13.
Carol A. Kidron, “Toward an Ethnography of Silence: The Lived Presence of the Past in the Everyday Life of Holocaust Trauma Survivors and Their Descendants in Israel,” Current Anthropology 50, 1 (2009): 5-19

Week 10 B. Seminar. Artistic Representation of Postmemory
Required Reading:
Art Spiegelman, Maus. New York: Pantheon Books, 1973

Smith P. Spiegelman Studies Part 1 of 2: Maus // Literature Compass 12/10 (2015): 499–508,
McGlothlin E. No Time Like the Present: Narrative and Time in Art Spiegelman’s Maus // NARRATIVE, Vol. 11, No. 2 (May 2003)

Week 11. Seminar. Nostalgia
Required Reading:
Hutton, Patrick H. “Preface: Reconsiderations of the Idea of Nostalgia in Contemporary Historical Writing.” Historical Reflections / Réflexions Historiques, vol. 39, no. 3, 2013, pp. 1–9.
Boym S. Nostalgia and Post-Communist Memory. In The Future of Nostalgia / S. Boym. - New York : Basic Books, 2001
Farrar, Margaret E.. “Amnesia, Nostalgia, and the Politics of Place Memory.” Political Research Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 4, 2011, pp. 723-35.

Week 11. Seminar. Seven types of forgetting
Required Reading:
Connerton P. (2008). Seven types of forgetting. Memory Studies, 1(1), 59–71.
Vinitzky-Seroussi, Vered, and Chana Teeger. “Unpacking the Unspoken: Silence in Collective Memory and Forgetting.” Social Forces, vol. 88, no. 3, 2010, pp. 1103–1122.

Week 12
A – Students’ presentations
B – Students’ presentations


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