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Modern Jewish Film & Literature: Childhood & Memory

ENGL 287.401
TR 1:30-3

Distribution III: Arts & Letters
Taught in English. Texts in translation from Hebrew, French and German.
(AMES 154, COML 282, ENG 287, FILM 224, FOLK 154)
This course will examine cinematic and literary portrayals of childhood images. While Israeli works constitute more then half of the course's material, European film and fiction will play important comparative roles. Many of the works are placed against a backdrop of national, collective, or historical conflicts. However, longing for an idealized time, or more often, individual traumas (such as madness, abuse, or loss) are the central foci of these stories.

Concentrating our attention on the child, we will analyze the different languages of film, prose, and poetry. We will discuss the nature of memory from a psychological point of view. We will study how authors and directors use symbols and metaphors; color and light; close-ups and flashbacks in order to reconstruct the past. We will see how artists struggle with their desires to retrieve fragments of past events and to penetrate the child's psyche, whether the memories are their own or someone else's. There will be 5 film screenings. The films will also be placed on reserve at the library for those students who are not able to attend these screenings. Taught in English. Texts in translation from Hebrew, French and German.

Since the content of this course may change from year to year students may take it for credit more than once (if the course is indeed different).