Using literary and commemorative narratives of incidents of racially-motivated violence in the United States as our lens or frame with which to orient ourselves, we will critically explore the following research questions: How do literary and cultural works shape cultural memory in the aftermath of racialized violence? Can literary or ethnographic narratives of this violence uncover and re-center “lost,” “buried,” or “forgotten” truths? How do literary narratives engage with these marginalized histories in ways that hegemonic, official, or “canonical” histories do not or will not? When we “read” the past, how do we measure our position in the “present”? How do literary works intervene in “lost” stories of violence, and how might literary scholarship do so?
This Q-Tutorium will allow participants to explore the extremely fruitful and productive territory at the intersection of literary studies, memory studies, and woman of color critique. Students will be encouraged to think through silences regarding racialized violence and conduct research on how literature and literary theory can intervene in collective and cultural memory.
Students will conduct their own research projects and work collaboratively to present their findings in a zine, podcast, or other format. We will explore critical work from Saidiya Hartman, M. NourbeSe Philip, Toni Morrison, Tommy Orange, and Christina Sharpe, among others. This Q-Tutorium is appropriate for master's or bachelor's students interested in Amerikanistik or other area studies, Gender Studies, postcolonial studies, history, and other related fields. Readings will be available on Moodle.