RC Hums 342, Winter 2007 Meets HU distribution

This is a highly recommended small seminar. Please contact Instructor: Karein Goertz (goertz@umich.edu) to express interest in the class, if you missed the first class sessions.

MF 2-3, W 2-4 in 68 Greene (East Quad)

The Holocaust in Literature and Film

In its wake, the Holocaust has left a growing body of international literature by survivors and their descendants. These autobiographical and fictional accounts demand moral engagement from readers who, through the power of the imagination and empathy, become co-witnesses to an event that sought to eliminate its witnesses.

 This seminar explores the many forms bearing witness has taken over several generations, focusing primarily on memoirs, novels and films. Are certain genres more powerful or appropriate than others? How do autobiographical and imaginary accounts enhance, transform or compromise the historical document? Have Holocaust narratives established ethical/aesthetic standards for the representation of other historical traumas?

 As we move from history into story, from eyewitness memory to inherited post-memory, we try to ascertain what generations born after the Holocaust can learn from this event. The semester closes with literature drawn from different, more current contexts of war and genocide.

 Required Books

Course Packet

Primo Levi Survival in Auschwitz

Viktor Frankl Man’s Search for Meaning

Charlotte Delbo  Days and Memory

Ruth Kluger Still Alive

Jorge Semprun The Long Voyage

Peter Weiss The Investigation

Jerzy Kosinski The Painted Bird

Art Spiegelman Maus I

If interested, please contact Karein Goertz goertz@umich.edu