Intro to Lit: Genre (Film and Literature of the Holocaust)

Course Description

How should the Holocaust be remembered? As the generation of survivors continues to age, we will soon face an era in which no living witnesses of the Shoah are left among us. What is the responsibility of second and third generations to this history?  What can emerging popular genres, such as film and novels, contribute to this conversation? In this course, students will view and analyze well-known films  on the Holocaust, such as Inglorious Basterds, Defiance, The Pianist, and Jojo Rabbit as well as the documentary Shoah. We will also read  lesser-known work by novelists attempting to contend with the history of the Shoah and its aftermath. This course will raise questions about film, fiction and (inherited) trauma; the politics of memory; and the problematics associated with re-discovering and representing human suffering and acts of evil. Writing assignments will alternatively take the form of rhetorical analysis, literary analysis, film analysis, and creative nonfiction.


Short written assignments

A film review

Documentary response

Take-home final exam


Required Texts

The Nazi and the Barber by Edgar Hilsenrath

The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser

House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon

To the Edge of Sorrow by Aharon Appelfeld