Fall 2008

History and Memory in Literature and Photography


Robert T. Hayashi (Section 01)


In her final book, Susan Sontag warned of the dominant role images play in shaping memory and a sense of history, noting, “The problem is not that people remember through photographs, but that they remember only photographs.” We will study events such as the Holocaust, Vietnam, and 9/11 and how both images and literature operate to create narratives of these events for individuals, ethnic groups and nations. We will look at the conflicts that arise when different perspectives on events enter the public realm and when memory and history are presented for public consumption, whether in a museum, movie, comic or poem. Fall semester. Professor Hayashi.