We all can vividly remember the dramatic scenes of planes crashing into the Twin Towers, of war-torn regions in Iraq and Syria, or elated mass celebrations of tearing down the Berlin wall. The screenshots of these highly mediatized events have become part of global public memory. Yet, how often nowadays do we hear any detailed accounts of these events or inquire after their aftermaths, besides such clichéd references as ‘9/11’, ‘war against terrorism’ or ‘transition to democracy’? Which aspects of these and other recent histories of war and conflict have been highlighted or neglected by the media, and how have they affected our understanding of history and identity?
This course will inquire into the dynamics of remembering and forgetting of major political, ethnic and religious conflicts with global ramifications, with a focus on the social tensions and transformations that are produced by conflicting and contested memories. By exploring a variety of case studies, we will analyze and compare representations of conflict and post-conflict remembering around the world and the role of the media and art in shaping them.
The course will consist of two lecture blocks, which will each focus on key topics and concepts from the field of transnational memory studies:
Block I: Global Memory and Trauma: The Role of Media in the Dynamics of Remembering and Forgetting
Block II: Memory, Cultural Heritage and Art: Global Case Studies
Each lecture will deal with a specific case study that is related to the general theme of the respective block. Guest lecturers will be invited to share their expertise on memory related case studies in a particular region to ensure the global character of the course.
Methodologically, this course will develop a comparative framework that enable us to analyze memory practices as interconnected and tied up with global issues of geopolitics, such as imperialism and (neo)colonialism, migration and diaspora, transitions and historiography, indigenous knowledge and local communities. Students will be encouraged to test the relevance of the learnt approaches by discussing memory related topics and concepts from a variety of regions and applying them in short written assignments.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will have:
developed transnational comparative perspectives on discourses and representations of post-conflict memory;
learnt about the ways in which media and art shape cultural memory and hence our ideas about history and identity;
acquired a good understanding of major concepts and approaches in transnational memory studies and an awareness of how they have been developed and applied within particular cultural-historical contexts;
enhanced their skills of critical reading, debating and analytical writing.
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
Short weekly responses to questions about the reading materials
The final grade for the course is established by (I) the grade for the final paper; (II) completion of all graded and ungraded assignments (failing to do so will result in failing the course). To pass the course, the grade for the final paper must be at least 5.5.
Short weekly responses to questions about the reading materials (Pass/Fail)
Paper abstract (Pass/Fail)
Final paper (Graded)
A resit is only possible for the final paper. To pass the course, this grade must be at least 5.5.
Inspection and feedback
Feedback for the weekly assigments will be given orally as part of the discussion during the lecture. Individual feedback on the paper abstract and final paper will be given via Brightspace.
The reading materials will be made available on Brightspace.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.
For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.
For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats