Faculty of Liberal Arts and Profession Studies
Department of English

The Arts of Memory
AP/EN 4050 6.0 2012/13

Professor Julia Creet
Seminar room: Ross S125
Seminar Time: Thursday 4:00-7:00
Website: http://artsofmemory.wikispaces.com/

Course Description:

Thematically organized around studies in memory, this course will traverse literature, philosophy, architecture, visual arts and film in an effort to understand the interrelatedness of all the arts with respect to one of the most complicated domains of human thought. Our current intellectual and artistic preoccupation with memory is an inheritance of the 20th century, a century which began with a theory of the self built on memory (psychoanalysis), fell into two world-wars and the inevitable sequences of forgetting and remembering that followed, and then saw the development of radically new and sophisticated physical and electronic archives, which threaten, so theory would have it, to replace human memory altogether. We waver between Plato’s ancient concern that writing is a poor substitute for living memory, a form of “hypomnesis,” a theme Jacques Derrida will reanimate, and the “hypermnesis” characteristic of our obsessive collecting and memorial practices of the late twentieth century.

This course is a seminar in which students will be asked to take an active role in leading discussions. Occasionally, the class will be held off campus at alternative times so that the seminar may, as a group, attend cultural events relevant to the course and its themes. The required readings are central to the course and all students must complete the assigned readings before the seminar meets.

Three 500-word response papers (30%): Sept. 27, Oct 25, Nov 22.
In-class seminar (15%): various dates
2000-word seminar paper, due two weeks after the seminar(15%): various dates
research paper proposal (10%): Feb 7
3500-word research paper (30%): Mar 29

Reading List:
Charlotte Delbo, Auschwitz and After (Yale); Paul Auster, The Invention of Solitude (Penguin); Michael Ondaatje, Running in the Family (Vintage); W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz (Modern Library); Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida (Vintage). Selected essays and short works will be available on the course website.

N.B. Students who enrol in this course must be available to attend at least four reasonably-priced productions and galleries in downtown Toronto, scheduled as conveniently as possible.

Assignment Submission:
Proper academic performance depends on students doing their work not only well, but on time. Accordingly, assignments for this course must be received on the due date specified for the assignment. Assignments are to be handed in during the seminar meeting time.

Lateness Penalty:
Assignments received later than the due date will be penalized one-half letter grade (1 grade point) per day that assignment is late. Exceptions to the lateness penalty for valid reasons such as illness, compassionate grounds, etc., may be entertained by the Course Instructor but will require supporting documentation (e.g., a doctor’s letter).

Reading Schedule

Fall Term: 2011

Sept. 6 Introduction:

Sept. 13
Required Readings

Why Memory Studies now?
Astril Erll,
Traumatic pasts, literary afterlives, and transcultural memory: new directions of literary and media memory studies
Journal of Aesthetics and Culture (Vol 3 (2011)

Andreas Huyssen, “Present Pasts: Media, Politics, Amnesia,” Public Culture 12.1 (Winter 2000):
21-38 http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/journals/public_culture/v012/12.1huyssen.html

Pierre Nora "Reasons for the current upsurge in memory" http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2002-04-19-nora-en.html

Recommended Reading
Steffi Hobuß
Aspects of memory acts: transnational cultural memory and ethicsJournal of Aesthetics & Culture, Vol 3 (2011)

Models of Memory

Sept. 20
Required Readings
Plato, Phaedrus. http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/phaedrus.html (particularly the last third or so)

Frances Yates, The Art of Memory (Chicago, 1966) Chapter 1 and 2. Handout.

**http://studyplace.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/w/images/9/9c/Yates-1966-Art-of-Memory-excerpt.pdf** (Frances Yates, The Art of Memory - Chapters 1 - 4)

Recommended Reading
Tomas Mazur, “Value of Memory—Memory of Value: A Mnemonic Interpretation of Socrates’ Ethical Intellectualism.” Julia Creet and Andreas Kitzman, eds. Memory and Migration, UTP. 2011. 235-248.

Sept. 27
Required Readings

First response paper due: 500 words (see guidelines on "response papers" wiki page)
St. Augustine, Confessions: Book 10, Chapters VIII-XXVI

Tell, David. “Beyond Mnemotechnics: Confession and Memory in Augustine.” Philosophy and Rhetoric 39.3 (2006): 233-253.

Recommended Readings
Mani Rao, "Decoding Augustine via Saussure." In-Between: Essays & Studies in Literary Criticism 15.2 (Sept 2006): 131-138.

Embodied Memory

Oct. 4
Memorization exercise: choose any short prose passage or poem and memorize it. Recite to class.

Sigmund Freud, “A Note upon the ‘The Mystic Writing Pad.’ //General Psychological Theory//, Chapter XIII, 1925.

Alison Landsberg, Prosthetic Memory: " Total Recall and Blade Runner." //Body & Society// (November 1995). 1 (3-4): 175-189

Oct. 11
“Memento Mori” (short story)/ Memento (film): Class members will be responsible for viewing this film prior to class meeting time
William Little, "Surviving Memento." //Narrative// 13.1 (January 2005): 67-83

Seminar 1 (2 presenters) 15 minutes of prepared material; please consult with Prof. Creet about the topic
Good guidelines for seminar presentations can be found at:
Seminar 2 (2 presenters)

Genealogical Memory

Oct. 18
Class will meet at Tarragon Theatre for "No Great Mischief"
Please arrive by 7:15. Doors open at 7:30
Follow the link below for directions.

If you haven't paid me yet, please bring $22.50 with you for the ticket or send me an email transfer for that amount.

Read beforehand:
Cynthia Sugar, "Repetition with a Difference: The Paradox of Origins in Alistair MacLeod’s No Great Mischief" SCL 33.2 (2008): 133-150.

Oct. 25
Second Response paper due

**Sigrid Weigel**, Genealogy: On the iconography and rhetorics of an epistemological topos

Catherine Nash, "Genealogical Identities**."** //Society and Space// 2002 (20): 27-52.

Nov. 1 Reading Week: no class

Nov. 8
Michael Ondaatje, Running in the Family
Seminar 2 (2 presenters)

Nov. 15
Paul Auster, The Invention of Solitude
Seminar 3 (2 presenters)

Personal and Public Memory

Nov. 22
Third Response Paper due

Charlotte Delbo, Auschwitz and After, “None of Us will Return”, “Useless Knowledge”

Carrol Clarkson, “Embodying ‘you’: Levinas and a question of the second person.” Journal of Literary Semantics 34.2 (2005): 95-105.

Nov. 29
Michael Rothberg, “Between Auschwitz and Algeria: Multidirectional Memory and the Counterpublic Witness” Critical Inquiry 33. 1 (Autumn 2006): 158-184
Daniel Levy, “Memory Unbound: The Holocaust and the Formation of Cosmopolitan Memory.” European Journal of Social Theory February 2002 5: 87-106.
Seminar 4 (2 presenters)