|Narratives of Trauma ( 3–6 op)
Prof. Robert Eaglestone & Prof. Colin Davis (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Thursday 15.5.2014, 15.00-15.35 Alain Resnais: Nuit et brouillard (Night and Fog) (Janus, Sirkkala)
Thursday 15.5.2014, 16–18 (Davis & Eaglestone) (seminar room 225)
Friday 16.5.2014, 10–12 (Eaglestone, luento) (lecture hall Janus, Sirkkala)
Friday 16.5.2014, 13–15 (Eaglestone & Davis) (seminar room 225)
The course investigates the relationships between traumatic events, affecting both the individual and culture more widely, and the work of narrative. Beginning with accounts of the Holocaust, it broadens out questions of narrative and trauma into complex and evolving debates and transnational discourses.
Reflection on the Holocaust is the source of much of the academic discussion of cultural, collective and personal trauma: and, as recent work by survivors, their descendants and scholars shows, this investigation is far from reaching any conclusion. However, the Holocaust is not the only collectively traumatic event. This lecture will examine how the intellectual tools, developed from the study of the Nazi Genocide, have been used to begin to understand other genocides and atrocities. Do they always ‘fit’? Stemming from one evil event, how useful are these tools for coming to understand other traumatic histories? Finally, might the experience of other genocides and atrocities help shed further light on the Holocaust?
The course will be held as Erasmus teaching in English, and exchange students, too, are welcome. The course consists of two seminar sessions and one lecture. The registration for the course will take place electronically 16 April – 7 May 2014. Students who actively participate in the teaching sessions will receive 3 ects, and students who write an essay on the basis of the sessions and the secondary reading list (on a topic of their choice) will receive 6 ects. For students of Comparative Literature, the course is suitable for A6., A7., S3. and S6. For further information, contact Hanna Meretoja (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Alain Resnais’s Nuit et brouillard/Night and Fog (original with English subtitles) will be screened in Janus before the course begins. The film is not an obligatory part of the course but it is recommended for students who are not familiar with the film. The film will be discussed in the seminar on Thursday.
In addition, the students are asked to read the following three texts for the course:
Elie Wiesel: La Nuit. (It’s fine to read as a translation: Night or Yö).
Introduction of the following book: Craps, Stef, Postcolonial Witnessing: Trauma out of Bounds. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Bond, Lucy, ‘Intersections or Misdirections? Problematising Crossroads of Memory in the Commemoration of 9/11’, Culture, Theory and Critique 2012, 1–18.
The texts will be available in the office of Comparative Literature after Easter.
The lecture on Friday will be open for everyone, and students who are not attending the course are also very welcome to the lecture.
Robert Eaglestone is Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London. He works on contemporary literature and literary theory, contemporary philosophy and on Holocaust and Genocide studies and is Deputy Director of the Holocaust Research Centre there. He is the author of five books including Ethical Criticism: Reading after Levinas (Edinburgh UP 1997), The Holocaust and the Postmodern (Oxford UP 2004) and the editor or co-editor of seven books, including Teaching Holocaust Literature and Film (Palgrave 2008), Derrida’s Legacies (Routledge 2008) and The Future of Trauma Theory (Routledge 2013). He is the Series Editor of Routledge Critical Thinkers.
Colin Davis is Professor of French at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. His research is principally in the field of twentieth-century French literature, thought and film, with interests including ethics, ethical criticism, Holocaust literature, recent fiction, and the connections between philosophy, fiction and film. He is the author of ten books including Ethical Issues in Twentieth-Century French Fiction: Killing the Other (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), After Poststructuralism: Reading, Stories, Theory (Routledge, 2004), Critical Excess: Overreading in Derrida, Deleuze, Levinas, Žižek and Cavell (Stanford UP, 2010) and Postwar Renoir: Film and the Memory of Violence (Routledge, 2012). He is the director of the Trauma Fiction History seminar series (http://traumafictionhistory.org/).
Secondary reading list (texts that students can use in their essays):
Buelens, Gert Sam Durrant and Robert Eaglestone The Future of Trauma Theory: Contemporary Literary and Cultural Criticism (London: Routledge, 2013)
Bond, Lucy ‘Compromised Critique: A Meta-critical Analysis of American Studies after 9/11’, Journal of American Studies, 45 (2011), 4, 733–756
Bond, Lucy, ‘Intersections or Misdirections? Problematising Crossroads of Memory in the Commemoration of 9/11’, Culture, Theory and Critique 2012, 1–18
Cheyette, Bryan Diasporas of the Mind: Jewish and Postcolonial Writing and the Nightmare of History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013).
Craps, Stef, Postcolonial Witnessing: Trauma out of Bounds (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
Felman, Shoshona and Dori Laub, Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis and History (London: Routledge, 1992)
Kilby, Jane Violence and the Cultural Politics of Trauma (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007)
Kulka, Otto Dov, Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death (London: Penguin, 2013)
Popkin, Jeremy D. ‘Holocaust Memories, Historians' Memoirs: First-Person Narrative and the Memory of the Holocaust’, History & Memory 15:1 (2003), 49-84.
Rapson, J. and Bond, L. The Transcultural Turn: Interrogating Memory between and Beyond Borders (de Gruyter: 2014).
Rapson, J. “Mobilizing Memory: Transcultural Commemorations of Lidice,” in Laila Amine and Caroline Beschea-Fache eds., Culture, Theory and Critique, 2012 129-145.
Rothberg, Michael Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009).
Resnais: Nuit et brouillard:
Raskin, Richard, ‘Nuit et Brouillard’ by Alain Resnais: On the Making, Reception and Functions of a Major Documentary Film (1987)
Flitterman-Lewis, Sandy, ‘Documenting the Ineffable: Terror and Memory in Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog’, in Grant and Sloniowski (eds), Documenting the Documentary: Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video (1998)
Hebard, Andrew, ‘Disruptive Histories: Toward a Radical Politics of Remembrance in Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog’, in New German Critique 71 (1997), 87-113
Michael, Robert, ‘A Second Look: Night and Fog’, in Cineaste 13:4 (1984), 36-7
Moses, John, ‘Vision Denied in Night and Fog and Hiroshima mon amour’, in Literature/Film Quarterly 15:3 (1987), 159-63
Wilson, Emma, Alain Resnais (2006)
Davis, Colin, Elie Wiesel’s Secretive Texts (1994)
Fine, Ellen S., Legacy of Night: The Literary Universe of Elie Wiesel (1982)
Mass, Wendy (ed), Readings on ‘Night’ (2000)
Bloom, Harold (ed), Elie Wiesel’s Night (Modern Critical Interpretations) (2001)