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The aim of this subject is to explore a theoretical history of remembrance in contemporary culture. We will begin by considering the massive transformations in cultural memory brought about by modernity. From this starting point we will consider the trajectories of cultural memory from Freud's curative hypotheses to the dominance of amnesia and trauma as tropes of memory in contemporary culture. Students will be expected to read and explore both theoretical accounts of contemporary cultural memory and to produce specific studies of the ways in which mechanical reproduction, testimony, the bureaucratic and state archive, film, monuments, museums, digital technologies and other cultural products and institutions have formed and continue to form contemporary cultures of remembrance.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should:
- understand the major twentieth-century articulations of culture, memory and modernity;
- have developed the analytical skills and methodological confidence to produce detailed and innovative studies in cultural memory; and
- appreciate the inter-relations and dynamics of practices of remembrance as, in part, defining the cultural dynamics of the twentieth century.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- have advanced research and analytic skills;
- develop critical and ethical self-awareness; and
- have the ability to develop and communicate effective arguments in both oral and written form.
Last updated: 6 December 2019