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ENG 380 The Holocaust in Literature, Film, and Culture: Home

Course Description

Since the end of World War II, we have seen countless efforts via literature and film to address the Holocaust. Whether through documentaries relying on gruesome footage, films set within the barbed wire of concentration camps, novels recreating the nightmare of those years, memoirs recounting the actual or imagined experiences of survivors, or museums reconstructing the experience, we find that we are still unable to adequately respond to the atrocities of the Holocaust. We remain within its shadow, and artists, writers, and filmmakers continue their attempts to depict the collective trauma aesthetically. This course considers the various methods and approaches to representing the Holocaust in film and literature. The readings and films are listed below, and we will explore themes including: testimony and witness, memory and trauma, the ethics of representation, gender and Holocaust representation, European anti-Semitism and Nazi propaganda, Hollywood’s response to the Holocaust, Holocaust humor, and the post-Holocaust experience. We will view various cinematic responses to the Holocaust, including documentaries, propaganda films, recent German films, and American and/or Canadian films. These films will be supplemented by various fictional and non-fictional responses to the Holocaust, as well as a number of critical essays that will help students to more effectively understand and process the primary readings.

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin

Additional Reading

Subject Guide

Elizabeth Parang's picture
Elizabeth Parang
Pepperdine University Libraries
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