The Politics of Memory

POLS6900 Contemporary Research in Politics: The Politics of Memory 

-Graduate seminar, next taught Fall 2017, Fridays 11:30-2:30-

How has Germany dealt with the Holocaust? How has South Africa confronted its legacy of Apartheid? How have Canadians reckoned with their own history of genocide and discrimination? The course explores the politics surrounding the public remembrance of the past and their impact. Memory politics are understood here to mean political processes of dealing with formative, often traumatic, collective experiences (e.g. war, genocide, persecution). We will discuss some of the classics of the interdisciplinary field of memory studies, as well as tap into contemporary debates about memory policy-making and management, the mobility and migration of memories across various boundaries (national, generational, discursive), grassroots vs. top-down memories and more. We will examine examples of memory politics in different media (including monuments, official pronouncements, institutions, film and literature), different places from across the globe, and different eras.