Fall 2023

History and Memory in America

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-105


Robert T. Hayashi (Section 01)


"The problem is not that people remember through photographs, but that they remember only photographs." Susan Sontag

Americans are at war over history. While scholars continue to produce new interpretations and sources of historical knowledge, others in American society seek to revise the established historical record to assert their interpretation of historical events in the public sphere. Monuments and schoolboard meetings are sites of sometimes acrimonious contestations over history: what happened in the past and how Americans should learn and remember history. In this course, we will study a range of historical events, such as the Holocaust, Japanese American Incarceration, 9/11, and the Covid pandemic. We will examine how individuals and groups have wrestled with the challenges of recording and remembering these events, including their sometimes conflicting memories. We will look at the tensions that arise when different perspectives of events enter the public realm, whether in the form of museum exhibits, movies, photographs, or poems.

Fall semester.  Professor Hayashi.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: the course will be heavily discussion-oriented with students required to participate in and facilitate class discussion. The course work will include short essay assignments and a major research project on a topic chosen by students. The course promotes critical reading skills, writing, and interdisciplinary scholarship and inquiry.

FYSE 105 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM MORG 110
Th 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM MORG 110

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Black Dog of Fate basic books Peter Balakian Amherst Books TBD
Kindred Octavia Butler Amherst Books TBD
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation Damian Duffy, Octavia Butler and John Jennings Amherst Books TBD
If There Are Any Heavens Nicholas Montemarano Amherst Books TBD
When the Emperor Was Divine Julie Otsuka Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023, Fall 2024