2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

The Remembrance of Things Past

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Eric Stein cultural anthropology, Stacey Davis European history, Leonard Schwartz (F) philosophy, creative writing

Fields of Study: anthropology, history, literature and political science

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10108 (16) Fr; 10112 (16) So - Sr; 10397 (1-16)  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20076 (16) Fr; 20077 (16) So - Sr; 20244 (1-16)  Conditions Due to the independent nature of the work in winter quarter, there is a signature requirement on the Freshmen section.    Qualified students are encouraged to contact the faculty for more information.  

Spring: Enrollment Closed  CRN (Credit) Level 30093 (16) Fr; 30094 (16) So - Sr; 30229 (1-16)  

Credits: 16(F); 16(W); 16(S)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmenFreshmen - Senior

Offered During: Day


Situated somewhere between fact and dream, memory shapes our individual lives in countless ways. When we recall the past, what, exactly, are we remembering? To what extent are our individual memories shaped by collective stories about the past, and how do collective memories, whether real or fabricated, help create and sustain a people's self-image, values and goals? For whom does historical memory of the past matter, and under what political circumstances? What does it mean to forget history? Can groups use the lack of memory, or shared forgetting, to further their sense of identity?

This program will explore the links between memory and both individual and group identity. We will investigate historical memory as a product of individual psychological experience, as a politically invested realm of public knowledge, and as a focus of disciplinary-based scholarly inquiry. Students will learn to critically engage historical texts (primary and secondary), public memorial rituals and spaces, oral histories, ethnographies, films and literature with new tools drawn from the study of memory, myth and national identity. They will also deepen their sensitivity to "collective memory" and "collective forgetting" and how each strengthens and structures power dynamics on a social level, considering how the "politics of collective memory" holds consequences for both dominant and minority groups in a culture or nation-state. Turning to museums as a key site of memory making, we will explore how the popular representation of objects contributes to our interpretation of and nostalgia for the past. Finally, we will study the creation and meaning of contemporary memorials and monuments, like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.

Fall quarter we will look at specific moments and memories of the 20 th century, exploring the shaping and reshaping of national memory in post-WW II Germany and France; the silencing of memories of state violence in late twentieth century Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam; French and Algerian recollections of the colonization of North Africa and the Algerian war of independence in the 1950s; and myths of memory in the contemporary United States. Also in the fall, there will be attention to relevent literary texts, to the ways in which poets shape memory through their art, and to the interdisciplinary exchange between history and poetics. Winter quarter we will consider the theoretical and methodological tools drawn from the study of memory, myth and national identity to prepare students for their own independent research inquiries. From mid-winter to mid-spring quarters, students will embark on original historical fieldwork, conducting archival research, oral history or museum studies locally, nationally or abroad. During the second half of spring quarter, students will revise and present a substantial research paper on their findings. In addition, each student will design and construct a three-dimensional model of a memorial that shows something significant about memory from their research studies.

We will develop our understanding of memory through lectures, workshops, films, and a series of guest speakers. Students should expect to engage in weekly critical book seminars, regular writing assignments, independent and collaborative work, and regular program discussion. During the course of the program, students will also take field trips to museums, memorial sites, monuments and archives, touching memory through a wide range of experiences.

Maximum Enrollment: 72

Required Fees: Fall $90 for field trips.

Special Expenses: Students will need to cover travel and living expenses if they choose to do non-local independent research in winter and spring quarters.

Internship Possibilities: Mid-Winter to mid-Spring: with faculty approval.

May be offered again in: 2014-15

Preparatory for studies or careers in: social sciences and humanities, including history, anthropology, urban planning, politics, writing and museum studies.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: No Required Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
April 21st, 2010 Leonard Schwartz has joined the teaching team for Fall.