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The Holocaust remains one of the most horrific events in modern history. It is nearly impossible to comprehend the torture and murder of human beings on such a massive scale. Indeed, some people have said that the complexity and horror of the Holocaust cannot be represented. Yet the only way those of us who weren’t there can know about the Holocaust is through books, films, photographs, poems, paintings, and other representations of the history.
Today there are holograms of Holocaust survivors and Virtual Reality experiences at death camps. Holocaust representation changes as technology changes, but also as the world changes. Current events have raised debates about when it is appropriate to compare contemporary events to the Holocaust and what it means to learn from the past. New technologies make it easier to learn about the Holocaust, but also to spread Holocaust denial and racist ideologies.
This class provides a general background to the Holocaust while also looking at the moral responsibility of representation, so important in our image-rich, social-media connected age.Course Syllabus (.pdf)