Fall 2012 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Pfister, Debra
Discipline and Number
HIST 4331 Section 001
MW Time 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
Holocaust and Representation

Description of Course:

The mass murder of European Jewry during the Holocaust has been recognized as one of the watershed events of the twentieth-century. Eliminating millions of people by shooting, gassing, and starvation, the Third Reich has created a new world, the like of which has not been experienced before. Its implementation of the Final Solution and the ways in which the Nazis carried out this death sentence for every Jew has affected our basic concepts of progress, enlightenment, morality, and freedom.

Exploring the social, political, historical, and cultural contexts of the Holocaust, the purpose of this course is to examine its depiction and representation in art, literature, poetry, and film. We will construct our inquiry around three major questions: why did this mass murder happen, how did it run its course, and how can we articulate the enormity and horror of this event in the various modes of artistic expression. Through this examination, will study the ways in which the Holocaust has continued to affect our religious beliefs, our sense of morality, and our notions of education and culture in the twenty- first-century.

Required Texts:

David Crowe, The Holocaust: Roots, History, and Aftermath (ISBN: 978-0813343259)
Lawrence Langer, Ed., Art from the Ashes (ISBN: 9780195077322)
Art Spiegelman, Maus I and II (ISBN: 9780679406419)

* Required assignments may also include readings from: Aharon Appelfeld, Ilan Avisar, Lawrence Baron, Judith Doneson, Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi Tracy Gold, Geoffrey H. Hartman, Jacob Katz, Lawrence Langer, Allan Levine, Zoe Waxman, Robert Wistrich, and others which will be on electronic reserve in the UT Dallas library.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Grades will be based on class attendance, participation in class discussions, one 2-3 page paper reviewing a Holocaust film or a selection from Art from the Ashes, one 5-7 page paper , one test, and one final.

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