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Memory and Literature in a Globalised Culture
Course Code: ELCS6039
Tutor: Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen
Mode of Assessment: Two assessed essays of 2000 words each
Term: taught in term 1
Memory is increasingly being recognised as fundamental to the formation of individual and collective identities. In Greek mythology Memory, or Mnemosyne, is the mother of the muses, the founding inspiration for the arts and crafts. Particularly in literature, memory is important because it both refers to the content of literature and to its creative process. Through telling and writing literature binds memory and individual identity together, and it does so in the medium - language - in which we also reflect on culture, identity and memory. This module aims to investigate the role of memory in an age of globalisation powered by new communication technologies with examples drawn from literature, photography, film and digital media as well as from events such as the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893) and digital memorials in the virtual world of Second Life. Central questions to be investigated are: how are our memories shaped by cultural and aesthetic expressions, in which ways does globalisation challenge the content and function of collective memory and how do new media co-operate with literature in shaping memories and identities?
- Julian Barnes, England, England, Vintage, 2009 (1998)
- Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting [Knihasmíchu a zapomnění, 1979], transl. by Aaron Asher, Faber & Faber, 2001.
- Jorge Semprun, The Cattle Truck/The Long Voyage [Le grand voyage, 1963], transl. by Richard Seaver, Sarif/Overlook Press, 2005.
- Alejandro González Iñárritu (2006), Babel [DVD], Paramount Classics.
Initial Secondary Bibliography:
- Erll, Astrid &AnsgarNünning, eds.: Cultural Memory Studies. An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook, de Gruyter, 2008.
- Andreas Huyssen, Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory, Stanford UP, 2003.
- John Tomlinson, Globalization and Culture, Polity, 1998.