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

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Unit name Holocaust Landscapes (Level H Lecture Response)
Unit code HIST39009
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Andy Flack
Open unit status Open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit examines ‘holocaust landscapes’, historical geographies characterised by their use as places of mass killing and the memory of loss. The unit will address an array of historical spaces, such as the forest, ghetto, camp, sea, river, and road associated with mass killings. Alongside the Jewish Holocaust, the unit will consider the battlefields of the First World War, sites of Native American and Aboriginal ‘genocide’, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Rwandan genocides and episodes of 'ecocide' to understand the ways in which space, place and time become entwined in our understandings of the past. Throughout the unit, we will examine the ways in which landscapes both affected and were affected by historical events, and we will think critically about the contrasts between the physical world and the imaginary landscapes of grief, hatred, and revenge that overlaid them. Methodologically we will explore the intersections between history and geography, and the ways in which we might understand the spaces and places of our past.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have achieved:

  • a wider historical knowledge of a range of periods/geographical areas/themes
  • a deeper awareness of how to approach a long term historical analysis
  • the ability to set individual issues within their longer term historical context
  • the ability to analyse and generalise about issues of continuity and change
  • the ability to select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate/demonstrate more general historical points
  • the ability to derive benefit from and contribute effectively to large group discussion
  • the ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically and form an individual viewpoint.

Teaching Information

  • Weekly 2-hour interactive lecture sessions
  • Tutorial feedback on essay
  • Access to tutorial consultation with unit tutor in office hours

Assessment Information

1 x 3000 word essay (50%) and 1 x 2 hour exam (50%)

Reading and References

  • Tim Cole, Holocaust City (New York 2003) esp. ch. 1 & ch. 9
  • A. Cerwonka, Native to the nation: disciplining landscapes and bodies in Australia (Minneapolis, 2004)
  • Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt, Holocaust. A History (London 2002)
  • Craig Etcheson, After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide.
  • Martin Gilbert, Holocaust Journey: Travelling in Search of the Past (London 1998)
  • Mark Leveene, The Massacre in History.
  • Barry Lopez Of Wolves and Men (1979)
  • Chris Pearson, Mobilizing Nature: The Environmental History of War and * Militarization in Modern France (Manchester, 2012)
  • 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)