How do we remember as individuals and make sense of our experiences? Remembering, forgetting, and sorting memories are fundamental to human experience, both on individual and collective levels. While individuals try to decipher their lives and experiences through recollection, societies create their narratives based on “national” and “collective” memories.
In this course, we will study memory as a type of translation where experiences become re-imagined, reorganized, and rewritten. We will consider the role of memory on an individual level by looking at autobiographies and personal narratives. We will also examine the importance and complexities of collective memory through literary and theoretical works. The course will use memory as a diverse framework and utilize different media such as graphic novels and movies, and works from different cultures and milieu, such as Sigmund Freud, Maurice Halbwachs, Vladimir Nabokov, Milan Kundera, Jorge Luis Borges, Orhan Pamuk, Art Spiegelman, and Marjane Satrapi.
The course is based on the premise that a critical approach is essential for good academic writing. As such, students will work closely with their peers and instructor to develop their written and analytical skills, engaging with creative works throughout the course and working intensely on issues of composition and argument.