Memory and Commemoration I
The course deals with debates about memory and commemoration and provides students with an introduction to the field of memory studies. The course focuses on the question of why commemorating the past is such a vexed issue. Weekly sessions examine the concept of coming to terms with the past by examining various national contexts and their difficult pasts, including Australian colonial history, memory politics in Hong Kong, the treatment of indigenous Canadians, the archiving of refuge experiences, Berlin as a site of memory, and the commemoration of genocide. Through case studies, interviews, and theoretical readings, students develop responses to flashpoint issues: Why are monuments being pulled down? Should museum objects be returned? Must street names be changed to reflect current sensibilities? Can reenactment redress historical injustices? How do textbooks change perceptions of the past? Video interviews, presentations, self-assessment tools, and other digital content have been created specifically for this course. The online course, developed in conjunction with Academy in Exile, is open to enrollment for master’s and advanced undergraduate students.