German 371: The Holocaust in Text, Image, and Memory
Hello, I am Professor William Carter, and I would like to invite you to join me online for German 371: “The Holocaust in Text, Image, and Memory.” I am an Assistant Professor of Germanic Studies in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. My research focuses on intersections between literature, film, philosophy, and economic thought from the eighteenth century to the present. In addition, I recently attended a faculty seminar on teaching Holocaust fiction and poetry at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in this area with you.
German 371 is open to students at all levels and meets ISU’s international perspectives requirement. During the course we will cover 6 modules: Preconditions of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, Witnessing and Testimony, America and the Holocaust, Memory and Memorials, and The Holocaust Today. As you can see, we will discuss a broad range of topics from the history of European antisemitism, racism, and common prejudice in the early 20th century to the continuing impact of the Holocaust as a watershed event in human history. To gain historical perspective, we will begin with Doris Bergen’s War & Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust and also read a selection of important secondary-source essays. The collection Art from the Ashes will then introduce us to journals, diaries, art, poetry, and prose about the Holocaust. Afterward we will analyze Elie Wiesel’s Night and Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz, two of the most famous works on the Holocaust, and we will also read Ruth Kluger’s Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered. Finally, we will examine Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus.
This course will be a collective undertaking that requires students to actively engage challenging material and thoughtfully discuss it with fellow students and the instructor via online video posts, online discussions, video journal entries, in quizzes, on two exams, and in a final paper or digital humanities project. German 371 is among the most meaningful and rewarding courses that I teach, and I hope you will join me as we consider “The Holocaust in Text, Image, and Memory.”