• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Gender Studies
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, History, Literature
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course GEND6021

This course is concerned with the cultural politics of memory and trauma. Whose memories are sought, believed and commemorated in the public sphere? What problems do traumatic events present for those attempting to commemorate or represent them? Is trauma a useful cross-cultural concept? We will begin by tracing the history of the concept of trauma in psychoanalysis, medicine and popular culture. Next, students will be introduced to theories of memory, including methods for studying memory in national and transnational contexts. Students will also be introduced to concepts of testimony and witnessing, and explore their relation to memory. We will study the cultural politics of trauma and memory with a particular focus on the Holocaust and the Stolen Generations, with some attention to other sites of conflict. Texts for study may include films, memoir, graphic narrative, testimonies, memorials and human rights reports as well as secondary literature.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Understand the concepts of ‘trauma’ and ‘memory’ as they are used in the media, in contemporary culture, and in Humanities and Social Science scholarship today and why these concepts have become so prevalent in contemporary culture;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of different approaches (psychoanalytic, discursive, feminist) to the concept of trauma;
  3. Identify and describe differences in personal memory, cultural memory, and collective memory, and in national and transnational memory;
  4. Apply key concepts to analyse specific texts and case studies; and
  5. Identify examples of and explain how memory is mediated through cultural genres such as film and memoir, and institutions such as museums or legal trials.

Indicative Assessment

Comparative Essay, 1000 words (25%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]
4 Short Responses, 250 words each (5% each for a total of 20%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]
Final Essay, 1750 words plus Abstract of 300 words (35%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]
Tutorial presentation, 5 minutes (10%) with unmarked hurdle requirement submission of slides/text [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]
Tutorial preparation and participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]
 

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Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 38 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 18 hours of lectures and 11 hours of tutorials and 9 hours of film screenings.
b) 92 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed GEND1002. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convenor to enrol in this course. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed GEND6021.

Preliminary Reading

Didier Fassin and Richard Rechtman, The Empire of Trauma (2009).
Roger Luckhurst, The Trauma Question (2008)

Majors

Minors

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 1
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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