UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


SEEE0013 Literature and Memory

UCL Credits: 15

Total Learning Hours: 150

ECTS: 7.5

Level: First


Term 1

Module Coordinator: Dr Uilleam Blacker

Taught By: Dr Uilleam Blacker, Dr Katarzyna Zechenter, Dr Peter Zusi


Weekly Contact Hours: 2.0 (2 hour seminar per week)
Prerequisites: None

Compulsory Module for:

Students taking East European languages degrees

Summative Assessment

Coursework Essay 2,000 words (25%)

2 Hour Examination (75%)

Formative Assessment

In class presentation

Module Outline

One of the primary functions literature serves is as a vehicle for memory. From the portrayal of national histories, to the embodiment of collective myths, to the expression of individual identities, literature has both lent authority to and constructed contentious arguments for our image of our past. The literature of central and eastern Europe is particularly rich in explorations of history and memory. While in earlier times literature was called upon to lend social and historical legitimacy to communities without nation-states, more recent literature of the region has played a major role in attempts to come to terms with the catastrophes of the 20th century.

Indicative Texts

  • Cosmos of Prague and Alois Jirásek on ancient Czech legends
  • Nikolai Gogol and Taras Shevchenko, selected stories and poems.
  • Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles.
  • Imre Kertész, Fatelessness.
  • W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz.
  • Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.
  • Dorota Masłowska, White and Red.
  • Danilo Kiš, A Tomb for Boris Davidovich.
  • · Dubravka Ugrešić, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender



Course Code



Full Year AffiliatesRegister for SEEE1006As Above 7.5
Affiliates here for Term 1 onlyRegister for SEEE1006A2x 2,500 word essay 7.5


Please note: This outline is accurate at the time of publication. Minor amendments may be made prior to the start of the academic year.