Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Christiane Weller


This unit will examine literary texts as well as theoretical and historical writings (in English translation and/or in French, German, Italian, Spanish original) of the European tradition. It will focus on the processes of constructing history and memory, with a particular emphasis on the memorialisation of defining events of the 20th century, ie. the two World Wars, the Holocaust, and/or the Spanish Civil War. The unit will also explore the theoretical debates on memory(by authors such as Walter Benjamin, Maurice Halbwachs, Pierre Nora, Aleida and Jan Assmann, Marianne Hirsch, and/or Giorgio Agamben), and the role of literature in constructing collective memory. In examining the literary, historiographical and philosophical concepts students will become acquainted with a broad range of texts on this topic


Upon successful completion of this subject students shuold have aquired:

  1. detailed knowledge of the main features of European tradition regarding the concepts of history, memory and the memorialisation of the past, and literature as a medium for constructing collective memory
  2. students should have aquired a good grasp of key texts refelcting the intellectual debates on this topic
  3. Students should have developed an awareness of the processes which will result in particular forms of memorialisation
  4. students should have improved their ability to analyse and interpret key concepts of memory in light of the literary, philisophical and historical developments since the beginning of the 20th century
  5. students should have gained experience in relating isolated historical and literary phenomena to a broader historical and theoretical framework
  6. students should be capable of informed discussion of the different conceptualizations of history, memory and memorialisation
  7. students should be capable of presenting the results of their own research in form of a tutorial paper and, in more detail, in an essay


Essay(2500 words): 50%
Class paper(1000 words): 20%
Exam(1 hour, 1000 words): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

2-hour seminar per week for the whole cohort

Plus 3 x 2-hour seminars in all four discipline languages (French, Spanish, Italian and German) during the course of the semester, ie students of French would attend 3 x 2 hour seminars (focussing on French texts in French) during the course of the semester

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two gateway units in French, German, Italian or Spanish and Latin American studies