HIST 345 The Holocaust: History, Testimony, and Memory

This course will be a research seminar that confronts the history of the Holocaust through in-depth investigations into survivor testimonies and commemoration and memorialization. The course will examine the genocide of the European Jews by the National Socialist regime, introduce students to the history of Europe from 1919 to 1945, and raise questions about the moral and ethical legacies of the Holocaust. During the semester, we will use a variety of visual and written sources to document and analyze the systematic and bureaucratic murder of European Jews by the Nazis. Using the survivor testimonies archived at the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and the museum installation at the Museum of Tolerance, we will interrogate the emerging fields of witnessing and testimony in relationship to the memory of the Holocaust and the phenomenon of Holocaust commemoration and memorialization. We will ask questions about how individuals and society assimilated to the experience of genocide: what narrative choices, what linguistic choices, and what visual choices did survivors and the larger culture make when remembering and commemorating the Holocaust? In this way, the course will be interdisciplinary, combining the methods and sources of History, Jewish Studies, Cultural Studies, and Art History.

Credits

4 units

Prerequisite

One History course

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus