Spring 2022

Time, Memory, and Ghosts in Post-Dictatorial Narratives

Listed in: English, as ENGL-471


Thirii M. Myint (Section 01)


Giorgio Agamben writes in Remnants of Auschwitz that “trauma is thus an event that has no beginning, no ending, no before, no during, and no after.” In this seminar, we will study texts from different genres–poetry, fiction, and memoir–that attempt to narrativize the timeless, ubiquitous, and haunted event that is a military dictatorship. How do these texts undertake the task of remembering or reimagining the past? How do they fill the gap between memory and history, between testimony and literature, and between past and present? What does or can literature do with a legacy of violence and oppression? Readings may include works by Argentinian-Mexican visual artist and novelist Verónica Gerber Bicecci, the Chilean poet Raúl Zurita, the Padaung (Burmese) memoirist Pascal Khoo Thwe, and the Ghanaian-born novelist Ayesha Harruna Attah.

Open to juniors and seniors. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Visiting Writer Myint.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on written work, readings, oral presentations, group work, independent research, audio-visual analysis Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2020, Spring 2022