Fall 2012 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Ozsvath, Zsuzsanna
Discipline and Number
HUSL 6378 Section 501
M Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
Literature and the Holocaust

Description of Course:

The enormous pressure the Holocaust exerts on our contemporary world manifests itself in a variety of ways, among them, in our present 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 asses the role this event plays in the late twentieth-century-early twenty-first-century literary imagination. We will study a number of texts revolving around the Holocaust and consider not only their radically new aesthetic devices but also their portrayals of evil and moral survival. In addition, our course will explore a wide-ranging set of critical responses the literature of the Holocaust has engendered.

Required Texts:

J. Becker, Jacob the Liar; T. Borowski, This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen; R. Hochhuth, The Deputy; P. Levi, The Drowned and the Saved; P.J. Weil, Mendelssohn Is on the Roof; R. S. Wistrich, Hitler and the Holocaust

In addition, we'll read poetry, short stories, and essays, all of which will be distributed in class.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Active participation in class discussion (40% of the grade), one class presentation (20%), and one paper (15-18 pages, 40%).

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