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, P. Connerton). 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. The next part of the course is devoted to the debates on several particular cases (The Civil War in the USA, World Wars I and II, post-Soviet 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.
The course will incorporate both lecture and seminar approaches. Formal lectures will be combined with in-class discussions among and between students and the Lecturer.
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.
Each seminar is led by one of the attendants. 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 attendees 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 5,000 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.
Possible options for the final essay:
- A comprehensive review of a book on the subject of the course
- A brief overview of the historiography on the topic of the course
- A small study on the topic of the course
In-class participation 20%
Final essay 40%
Week 1: Lecture. Memory studies. Introduction
Klein K. On the Emergence of Memory in Historical Discourse // Representations 70 (Winter 2000), 127-150.
Gedi N., Elam Y. Collective Memory--What Is It? // History and Memory8:1 (1996), 30-50.
Week 2: Lecture. ‘Collective Memory’ by Maurice Halbwachs
Halbwachs M. The Collective Memory. New York: Harper & Row, 1980. (“Individual Memory and Collective Memory," 22-49, and "Historical Memory and Collective Memory," 50-87)
Hutton P. History as an Art of Memory (Maurice Halbwachs as Historian). UPNE, 1993, 73-90
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: Lecture. ‘Cultural Memory’ – Jan and Aleida Assmann
Assmann J. Collective Memory and Cultural Identity //New German Critique, 65 (1995), 125-133.
Assmann A. From Collective Violence to a Common Future: Four Models for Dealing with a Traumatic Past // Helen Gonçalves da Silva et al. (eds.), Conflict, Memory Transfers and the Reshaping of Europe (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), 8-23.
Week 4: Lecture. "Sites" (lieux) of Memory – Pierre Nora
Nora P. Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de memoire," // Representations, 26 (Spring, 1989), 7-25.
Week 5. Seminar. Sites (lieux) of Memory. Examples 1.
Vovelle M. La Marseillaise: War or Peace // Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past; New York: Columbia University Press, 1996-98). V 1. Emblems.
Ozouf M. The Pantheon, The Ecole Normale of the Dead // Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past; New York: Columbia University Press, 1996-98). v. 2. Major Sites
Winock M. Joan of Arc // Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past; New York: Columbia University Press, 1996-98). V 3. Identification.
Week 6. Seminar. Sites (lieux) of Memory. Examples 2.
Giamo B. The Myth of the Vanquished: The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum // American Quarterly 55(2003), 703-728.
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.
Sherwin M. Hiroshima as Politics and History // Journal of American History 82:3(1995), 1085-1093.
Linenthal E. Struggling with History and Memory // Journal of American History 82:3(1995), 1094–1101.
Week 7: Lecture. Nation, ethnicity and memory
Renan E. What is a Nation?” undefined://www.cooper.edu/humanities/core/hss3/e_renan.html
Anderson B. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, London, 1991. 1-47.
Week 8. Seminar. Nation, ethnicity and memory. Examples.
Gross Jan Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton, 2001), 79-89; 122-142, 171-174.
Jonathan Huener, Auschwitz, Poland, and the Politics of Commemoration, 1945-1979 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2003. Chapter 4.
Gillis J. Remembering Memory: A Challenge for Public Historians in a Post-National Era // Public Historian 14:4(Fall 1992), 83-93
Week 9. Seminar. The Invention of Tradition
Hobsbawm E. Introduction. Inventing Tradition // 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 // Eric Hobsbawm & Terence Ranger, ed. The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge University Press, 1983.
Week 10. Lecture. Seven types of forgetting
Connerton P. (2008). Seven types of forgetting. Memory Studies, 1(1), 59–71.
Beyond Memory. Silence and the Aesthetics of Remembrance. Edited ByAlexandre Dessingué, Jay M. Winter, 2015.
Week 11. Lecture. Trauma studies
Caruth C. Introduction // Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1995
Laub D. Bearing Witness or the Vicissitudes of Listening // Testimony: Crises of Witnessing inLiterature, Psychoanalysis, and History . Eds. Felman, Shoshana, and Dori Laub. New York: Routledge, 1992. 57-74
Tal, Kalí. Worlds of Hurt: Reading the Literatures of Trauma . Cambridge, England & New York: Cambridge UP, 1996.
Week 12. Seminar. Limits of Representation? Trauma and the Holocaust
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)
Crawley K., van Rijswijk H. Justice in the gutter: representing everyday trauma in the graphic novels of Art Spiegelman // Law Text Culture, 16(1), 2012, 93-118.
Week 13. Seminar. Nostalgia
Boym S. From “Nostalgia and Its Discontents.” // The Collective Memory Reader. Ed. Jeffrey K. Olick, Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi and Daniel Levy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. 452-7.
Davis, Fred. “The Nostalgic Experience: Words and Meanings,” and excerpt from “Nostalgia and Art.” Yearning for Yesterday: A Sociology of Nostalgia. Free Press, 1979, pp. 1-29, 73-85.
Farrar, Margaret E.. “Amnesia, Nostalgia, and the Politics of Place Memory.” Political Research Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 4, 2011, pp. 723-35.
Week 14. Seminar. Between chaos and diversity? The fate of the field.
Olick JK Between chaos and diversity: Is social memory studies a field? // International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society. 2009. 22:249-252.
Kanstainer W. Finding Meaning in Memory: A Methodological Critique of Collective Memory Studies // History and Theory, 2002, Vol 41 No. 2 (May, 2002), pp. 179-197
Radstone S. Memory studies: For and against // Memory Studies, Vol. 1, (Jan, 2008), pp. 31-39.