Fall 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
The enormouspressure the Holocaust exerts on our contemporary world manifests itself in a variety of ways, among them, in our persistent efforts to evoke, define, and explain this cataclysmic event, and to incorporate it into our creative imagination. Besides ongoing evaluation and re-evaluation of the Shoah in the fields of historical research, moral philosophy, and social studies, there is a massive body of literature and art that has arisen in its wake, ranging from eyewitness accounts to novels, short stories, and poetry; from music to painting, sculpture, and film. The purpose of this seminar is to consider some of these artistic endeavors and the psychological, moral, and aesthetic tensions the Holocaust has imposed upon our contemporary consciousness. In addition, we will assess the role it plays in the late twentieth-century, early twenty-first century, literary imagination. The class will study a number of texts revolving around this event and consider not only their radically new aesthetic devices but also their portrayals of evil and moral survival. Furthermore, it will study a wide-ranging set of critical responses the literature of the Holocaust has engendered.
A. Appelfeld, BADENHEIM 1939; J. Becker, JACOB THE LIAR; T. Borowski, THIS WAY TO THE GAS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; Z. Ozsvath, IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ORPHEUS: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MIKLOS RADNOTI; R. Hochhuth, THE DEPUTY; P. J. Weil, MENDELSSOHN IS ON THE ROOF; M. Marrus, THE POLITICS OF ASSIMILATION; R. Wistrich, HITLER AND THE HOLOCAUST
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Regular class attendance; participation in class discussion; one report; and one research paper 14-16 pages)--which could be suiatable for one of the portfolio essays.