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Memory for the Future

History 4264 - Spring 2021

The seminar "Memory for the Future" (M4F) will create spaces and practices of education, commemoration, and collaboration that rest on a dialogue between collectives impacted and implicated by these varied but related histories. Our course leverages the concept of "multidirectional memory" to develop new forms of humanities education and practical public history. This concept emphasizes the productivity of commemorating different, yet related histories of mass violence such as the Holocaust, slavery, apartheid, and colonialism if and when they confront each other in the public sphere. Our principal aims are to explore, enrich, and sustain the global and local focus of "reparative memorial practices" in St. Louis. Focusing on commemorative efforts through public memorials, monuments and especially museums, M4F will engage survivors, activists, institutional leaders, and scholars (students and faculty) in the development of educational materials, artistic representations, exhibitions and other approaches to bringing the past into the present, supporting the efforts of local and regional venues to end racism, antisemitism, and homophobia, and their related violence through multidirectional memory work. Alongside classroom-based instruction focusing on discussing scholarship and acquiring practical and curatorial skills, students will work with several area institutions to apply their study of multidirectional memory. This practicum is integral part of the course and requires students to leave campus and work with one of several partners (St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, George B. Vashon Museum, Missouri Historical Society, and the Reparative Justice Coalition of St. Louis). For History majors, this course fulfills the capstone requirement as an Advanced Seminar.

Section 01

Memory for the Future
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