Tu/Th 9:30-11 283 Dwinelle Instructor: Sophie Volpp
What does it mean to be born into the legacy of a cultural disaster that one did not experience oneself, but came to know only through the lives of others? How do major historical upheavals impact the generations that follow? What is a “second generation” survivor? This course will focus on theories of violence, ethics, and memorial practices, with particular emphasis on World War II in Europe and Japan but with reflections on events from other regions and from more recent times. Which voices dominate, and which are the hardest to hear? What kinds of communities and modes of collaboration—and protest—can develop to make audible those more marginal voices? We study theories and modes of testimony by survivors, literary representations of the legacies of disaster; and works (of cinema, literature, architecture, and visual art) that reflect perspectives—and hauntings, and irreverent acts—of the generations that follow.
Works to be considered include: films by Akerman, Berliner, Forgacz, Marker, Oshima, Ogawa Pro; writings by Benjamin, Woolf, Grossman, Jabès, Oe, Kofman, Celan, Lacan; and visual art by Kiefer, Hesse, Kobayashi; monuments, genealogy websites, memoirs, and more.