HI6036 - Holocaust Testimony and Cultural Memory

What will I learn on this module?

Dori Laub and Shoshana Felman have claimed that the twentieth century was an ‘era of testimony’. This module addresses the ways survivors have attempted to bear witness to the Holocaust, the catastrophe at that century’s centre, and the cultural responses to that witness. We will consider how the tools and concepts of cultural analysis both speak to and are challenged by testimony, and how culture continues to work on the problem of representing the Holocaust. The course aims to enable students to consider the continuing impact of the Holocaust on the lives of its surviving witnesses and their children and how literature and films bear witness to it. To this end, the module draws on a variety of sources: video testimony, courtroom testimony, memoirs, diaries, different literary genres (novels, short stories, poems and graphic novels) and films.

How will I learn on this module?

The primary method of teaching for this module is through seminars. In these sessions, we will have a variety of presentations and group and whole-class discussions. The module uses a blended learning strategy that will make extensive use of Blackboard. Pre-seminar tasks and links will be posted each week: these will include readings, quizzes and mini-research projects. Lectures for some weeks will also be made available as screencasts. You will post weekly journals of responses to the material studied, which will form the basis for your subsequent essay assignment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through your module tutor, engagement with your peers, and through the programme leader. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised Feedback and Consultation hours and via email. Your peers will provide you with a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your degree programme, of which this module is part. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures, and resources available on the eLP. Formative feedback will be on-going through seminar activities and assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of an interdisciplinary selection of cultural artefacts and texts on the Holocaust
2. Apply key ideas such as trauma, testimony, cultural memory and representation to the analysis of testimony and cultural texts and artefacts

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Establish your own considered position on debates on testifying to, representing and memorializing the Holocaust
4. Display an ability to analyse different kind of sources

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Show sustained reflection on your own experience of engaging with representations of the Holocaust

How will I be assessed?

1 x 3,000-word essay (weighted 50%).
This essay will be written in response to one question chosen from a list provided by the module tutor.
(MLOs 1-5)

1 x two-hour seen exam paper (weighted 50%).
In the exam, you will discuss short extracts from sources that will have been looked at closely in the seminars.
(MLOs 1-4)

Through weekly journal responses, you will undertake work that is formative for your subsequent assignment. Formative feedback for each assessment will be provided in seminars, including practice gobbet answers. Verbal and written feedback will be given on all summative assessed work. Feedback on initial summative assessments will enable you to improve on later ones.





Module abstract

This module traces ways in which survivors have attempted to bear witness to the Holocaust. Students will consider the continuing impact of the Holocaust on the lives of its surviving witnesses and their children as well as the challenges of representing the Holocaust. To this end, students will encounter different forms of Holocaust testimony: from recorded interviews and courtroom proceedings to memoirs and diaries, and from different kinds of literary texts.

Course info

UCAS Code LV21

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy