• 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 UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

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 and trauma drawn from  cultural studies, anthropology, history, psychoanalysis, and feminist theory. We will study the cultural  politics of trauma and memory in relation to two events - the Holocaust and the Stolen Generations.  In particular, we will consider the relationship between trauma, history and mourning, the role of  public memorials, and the problem of "forgetting". Texts for study will include autobiographies, films,  novels, poetry, testimonials, media texts and political essays.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Learning outcomes are identified for each of the assessments set below. In addition, the general learning outcomes for the course are:

  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. Why have these concepts become so prevalent in contemporary culture?
  2. Become familiar with a variety of approaches to analysing ‘trauma’ and ‘memory’
  3. Become familiar with some of the key debates relating to representations and cultural memory of the Holocaust and Stolen Generations
  4. Be able to use different approaches to the concepts of trauma and memory to analyse film, literature, testimony and other texts representing the Holocaust and Stolen Generations.

Indicative Assessment

3,000-4,000 words of written work, and tutorial participation.

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Offered in alternate years
20 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial, plus film screenings

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. incompatible with GEND6021.

Preliminary Reading

Antze, Paul, and Michael Lambek, eds, Tense Past: Cultural Essays in Trauma and Memory, New York: Routledge, 1996




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:
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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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