FCLT 380: The Holocaust in East European Film & Literature will be held Tuesdays from 6-9:50 p.m. by Prof. Lisa M. Di Bartolomeo.
Conceiving of the Holocaust as the most important event of the twentieth century, this course examines verbal and visual texts that involve some form of testimony to events and experiences directly or indirectly related to the Nazi Holocaust, 1939-1945.
Rather than allowing the extermination of millions of people to stand as an “absence,” writers, artists, and filmmakers have felt compelled to fill the void and the horrible silence with testimony, with voices, images, and words.
Students shall analyze specific texts with a view to understanding the motivation for “testifying,” the narrative forms chosen, the effect of technical aspects of the texts (e.g., first-person confessional writing, subjective camera use in films), the difference between fiction and non-fiction, and the effects of Holocaust denial.
In this examination, students shall extend the literary and filmic familiars beyond the ranks of Anne Frank and Schindler’s List, providing students with both a broader understanding of the events of the Nazi occupation and a better grasp of the historical contexts of several nations of central and eastern Europe, especially Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, Romania, and some areas of Ukraine.
This course is conducted as a combination of lecture and discussion, with all films and film clips viewed in class, time permitting. All readings will be in English, and all films will be subtitled in English. Course evaluation will be based entirely on communication skills: student participation in discussions as well as grades on the three short, written essays.