Course No.

JS / HIST 205


The Holocaust and the Problem of Representation


Rona Sheramy


Mon Wed 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm OLIN 202

Cross-listed: Historical Studies

Related interest: MES, Religion

"After Auschwitz, to write a poem is barbaric," commented Theodor Adorno in 1949 on the contradiction between the aesthetic pleasure derived from poetry and the horrors of the Nazi era. And yet, in the decades since World War II, artists have attempted to find a literary and visual language for representing and responding to the destruction of European Jewry. This course will consider the debates among artists and scholars over whether the Holocaust can be adequately described and represented. We will focus on these debates as they have emerged in literature, film, and public art, analyzing specific works as well as the theoretical discussions surrounding them. The final section of the course will consider disputes among historians, curators, and Holocaust survivors over how to create narratives of the Holocaust in museums. This class will include a trip to the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Holocaust in New York City.

Additional courses cross-listed in Jewish Studies:

HEB 101 Elementary Hebrew

LIT 276B Chosen Voices: Jewish Authors

REL 215 Trading Places: Rabbinic Judaism & Christianity

REL 249 Beliefs & Practices of Jewish Mysticism