Politics of Memory

Schools of Public Engagement: Global Studies

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Politics of Memory
Spring 2023
Taught By: Jonathan Bach
Section: A

CRN: 13524

Credits: 3

Memory of the past is a deeply conflicted component of modern national identity and a source of both solidarity and conflict. This course explores the role of memory as a social, cultural, and political force in contemporary society. We examine the constitutive tension between memory as a national political project and as an intimate source of identity for individuals in communities, and how the “container” of national memory is challenged by lived realities as memory travels across generations and geographies in a world increasingly defined by the uneven movement of people and information. The class moves from questions about our contemporary relation to the past in response to historical and conceptual shifts to the complexity of the mnemonic communities in whose name social remembering takes place. We look at empirical cases from around the world, including the memorialization of controversial events outside the home country, the deployment of collective memory in national discourses as a framing device, and the growing tension between the national and the transnational in dealing with dislocated memories. Cases include the war in Vietnam, slavery and its legacy in the United States, the memory of World War II in East Asia, Turkish migration and Holocaust memory in Germany, Mexican migrants to the US, and ongoing debates about museums and monuments. Despite the wide-ranging cases, this course is not a comprehensive survey or history, but rather an exploration of conceptual tools and approaches that students can use in their own research. The course involves substantial reading and writing and the completion of an original research paper.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Global Studies (UGLB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 5

Add/Drop Deadline: February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:32am EDT 9/29/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Wednesday
Times: 1:55pm - 3:45pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 410
Date Range: 1/25/2023 - 5/10/2023