Spring 2011

Representing and Judging the Holocaust

Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-56


Lawrence R. Douglas (Section 01)


(Research Seminar) This seminar will address some of the foundational questions posed by radical evil to the legal imagination. How have jurists attempted to understand the causes and logic of genocide, and the motives of its perpetrators? Is it possible to “do justice” to such extreme crimes? Is it possible to grasp the complexities of history in the context of criminal trial? What are the special challenges and responsibilities facing those who struggle to submit traumatic history to legal judgment? We will consider these questions by focusing specifically on a range of legal responses to the crimes of the Holocaust. Our examination will be broadly interdisciplinary, as we compare the efforts of jurists to master the problems of representation and judgment posed by extreme crimes with those of historians, social theorists, and artists. Readings will include original material from the Nuremberg, Eichmann, and Irving trials, and works by, among others, Hannah Arendt, Zygmunt Bauman, Christopher Browning, Primo Levi, and Art Spiegelman.

Requisite: LJST 10 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Douglas.

LJST 56 - L/D

Section 01
Tu 02:00 PM - 04:30 PM CONV 208

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Eichmann in Jerusalem Penguin Hannah Arendt Amherst Books TBD
War and Genocide Rowman & Littlefield Doris Bergen Amherst Books TBD
Ordinary Men Harper Collins Christopher Browning Amherst Books TBD
The Memory of Judgment Yale University Press Lawrence Douglas Amherst Books TBD
Hitler's Willing Executioners Alfred Knopf Daniel Goldhagen Amherst Books TBD
The Drowned and the Saved 1st Vintage Ed. Primo Levi Amherst Books TBD
The Wannsee Conference Metropolitan Mark Roseman Amherst Books TBD
Making Whole What Has Been Smashed Harvard University Press John Torpey Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Spring 2016, Spring 2020