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Unit information: Holocaust Landscapes (Lecture Response Unit) in 2015/16

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Unit name Holocaust Landscapes (Lecture Response Unit)
Unit code HISTM0058
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Tim Cole
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit examines the Holocaust and its post-war memory through a geographical focus. Taking a number of spaces and places (forest, ghetto, cattle car, camp, attic, sea, river, road) associated with the implementation of, and evasion from, the 'final solution of the Jewish question' we will examine:

The construction and or transformation of these places during the Holocaust

Victims' experiences of these landscapes

The post-war history of these sites and especially their selective re-imagining as sites of memory

Thematically we will examine the concentration, deportation and mass killings of Jews as well as slave labour, death marches, hiding, resistance and rescue, native collaboration, the post-war displaced persons' camps and contemporary memory of the Holocaust. Methodologically we will explore the intersections between history and geography, and the possibilities of examining landscape as a focus of analysis.

Intended learning outcomes

1) To critically explore the range of holocaust experiences and situate these temporally, spatially and historiographically, and to critically assess the connections between historical events and their re-telling and remembering.

2) To improve students’ ability to argue effectively and at length (including an ability to cope with complexities and to describe and deploy these effectively).

3) To be able to display high level skills in selecting, applying, interpreting and organising information, including evidence of a high level of bibliographical control.

4) To develop the ability of students to evaluate and/or challenge current scholarly thinking.

5) To foster student’s capacity to take a critical stance towards scholarly processes involved in arriving at historical knowledge and/or relevant secondary literature.

6) To be able to demonstrate an understanding of concepts and an ability to conceptualise.

7) To develop students’ capacity for independent research.

Teaching details

1 x 2-hour interactive lecture per week.

Assessment Details

One summative coursework essay of 5000 words (100%). This will assess ILOs 1-7.

Reading and References

Tim Cole, Holocaust City (New York 2003) esp. ch. 1 & ch. 9

Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt, Holocaust. A History (London 2002)

Martin Gilbert, Holocaust Journey. Travelling in Search of the Past (London 1998)

Dan Stone (ed.), Historiography of the Holocaust (Houndmills, 2004) James Young, The Texture of Memory. Holocaust Memorials and Meaning (New Haven 2000)

Elie Wiesel, Night (London 2006)