This seminar examines the ever-fluctuating relationship between memory and the built environment in light of recent associations between memorialization and hegemonic racism. Pierre Nora’s Lieux de Memoire (1984), a foundational work on memorialization, describes how modern places of memory–monuments, memorials and buildings–provide a refuge against constant change, and an anchor for the nation-state. Acts of public commemoration, for example, were one of the most visible ways to deal with the aftermath of the Holocaust, producing a vast array of memorials and monuments across the world. And street-names, monuments, museums, memorials, ruins, plaques and guided tours are constant reminders of deep historical roots. Analyzing objects, buildings, and landscapes through memory, we explore race, gender, postcolonialism, the Holocaust, dark tourism, nostalgia, and memorial activism. As racialized monuments are removed across the world, we might also note the overpowering presence of male figures in public space that is now contested, as memorialization has evolved into a multidirectional global phenomenon. Reading widely across history, memory studies, and the built environment from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, the seminar will give students the ability to trace memorialization as an historiographical artifact and to analyze its role in contemporary cities. In addition, the seminar will include visits and study of a variety of local sites in Detroit and its surroundings if students are on campus, or of monuments, memorials and museum in students’ hometowns if teaching is remote.
This course is a meet together with HISTART course.
Class Instruciton Mode: Online
Tue, Thu 11:30-1:00pm