Spring 2014

Topics in European History: The Politics of Memory in Twentieth-Century Europe

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-373  |  History, as HIST-438

Formerly listed as: HIST-76

Moodle site: Course (Guest Accessible)


Catherine A. Epstein (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 438 [EU] and EUST 373.)  This course will explore the role of historical memory in the politics of twentieth-century Europe. It will examine how evolving memories of major historical events have been articulated and exploited in the political cultures of England, France, Germany, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union/Russia. Topics will include the politics of memory surrounding World Wars I and II, Vichy France, the Holocaust, Soviet Stalinism, and Eastern European communism. Seminar participants will also discuss general issues concerning collective memory: why societies remember and forget historical events, how collective memories resurface, the relationship between memory and authenticity, and the pitfalls of politicizing historical memory. Finally, seminar participants will analyze different sites of memory including film, ritual, monuments, legal proceedings, and state-sponsored cults. One class meeting per week.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester.  Professor Epstein.

If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to non-first-year Amherst College pre-registered students; 5-college students who pre-register will be included next; then students who attend the first class; students who do not attend the first class will be dropped.


2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2014