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IDSEMUG 1340 - Hiroshima

On August 6 1945 the city of Hiroshima in Japan was leveled by the first atomic bomb. On August 9, the city of Nagasaki was leveled by the second bomb. It is estimated that between 210,000 and 270,000 people were killed, some immediately, some from the radiation days or months later. These estimates do not include more long-term impacts of the radiation, such as birth defects, or various cancers. How can we, as human beings, make sense of these events? How can we cope with, and represent unthinkable trauma? What are the politics of such representation? What processes of healing are possible through remembering? Is it important to represent such traumas, and if so, why? This course will explore a selection of historical, literary, cinematic, and other venues in which this unrepresentable trauma was, and continues to be, indeed, represented. We will aim at exploring the processes of mourning, remembering, and representing collective cultural trauma. Readings will include: Hein and Selden, Living With the Bomb, Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, LaCapra, Writing History, Writing Trauma, Sigmund Freud, “Mourning and Melancholia,” and selected short fiction, poetry and photographs. We will also view documentary footage and the narrative film Black Rain. Add Consent: Department Consent Required.
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Spring 2020
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