SOC 324
Memory and Identity Spring 2019
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
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Our sense of self is inextricably tied to our understanding of our past, both as individuals and as members of society. This sense of origins, however, is far from natural; it itself has its origins in the debates and politics of the time, and evolves under an array of influences. This course analyzes discourses of collective and individual identity and the mechanisms involved in the formulation of the individuals’ sense of their place in the world. Topics include: media of memory, politics of commemoration, nostalgia and selective forgetting, narratives of trauma and of a “golden age,” the invention of tradition, and battles over remembrance and heritage, such as the struggles over the proper way to face the difficult past around the world, with a particular emphasis on the United States and on the memory wars in the post-Soviet space.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 3099
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: extensive class participation, several short papers, and a final research project with class presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Anthropology and Sociology majors
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
DPE Notes: This course fulfills the DPE requirement because it explores the diversity of the ways in which communities imagine and engage with their past, and puts struggles over memory in the context of groups' struggles for power and visibility.

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