The Keck Research Program embeds undergraduate research in first-year Cultural Studies Program seminars and advanced research seminars.
History 345: The Holocaust: History, Testimony, and Memory
Professor Marla Stone
The Holocaust: History, Testimony, and Memory is a research seminar which confronts the history of the Holocaust through in-depth investigations into survivor testimonies and commemoration and memorialization. The course examines the genocide of the European Jews by the National Socialist regime, introduces students to the history of Europe from 1919 to 1945, and raises questions about the moral and ethical legacies of the Holocaust. During the semester, we use a variety of visual and written sources to document and analyze the systematic and bureaucratic murder of European Jews by the Nazis.
Using the survivor testimonies archived at the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive and the museum installation at the Museum of Tolerance, we interrogate the emerging fields of witnessing and testimony in relationship to the memory of the Holocaust and the phenomenon of Holocaust commemoration and memorialization. We will ask questions about how individuals and society assimilated the experience of genocide: what narrative choices, what linguistic choices, and what visual choices did survivors and the larger culture make when remembering and commemorating the Holocaust? In this way, the course will be interdisciplinary combining the methods and sources of history, Jewish Studies, cultural studies, and art history.
CSP 55: Through the Looking Glass: Perspectives and Reflections on Childhood
Professors Heather Banis (Psychology) and Adrianne Wadewitz (CDLR)
In this course students will learn about the multiplicity of ways in which childhood has been and is conceived. They will study it from historical, literary, and psychological perspectives. Co-taught by a psychologist and literary critic, students will be exposed to discipline specific methodologies as well as those utilized by such guest presenters as children’s book authors, special collections librarians, early childhood educators, and historians. Students will read and critique major theorists and philosophers of childhood such as Bowlby, Piaget, Rousseau, and Locke. Students will consider the following questions:
- What is the role of innocence in defining childhood? To what extent is there a “cult of childhood”?
- To what extent is childhood defined in relation to adulthood? To what extent is childhood distinct from adolescence? To what extent is childhood a modern phenomenon?
- What is children’s literature and children’s culture? What are their major themes? What is the relationship between technology and children’s literature and culture?
- What is the role of imagination, truth, and fantasy in childhood development?
- What impact do early childhood attachment relationships and temperament have on socialization and resilience? What roles do institutions such as the family and schools play in this process?
CSP 58: Reimagining the "Art of the West" at the Autry: Curation as Cultural Practice
Professor Amy Lyford (Art History and Visual Arts)
In the summer of 2013, the Autry opened a new set of galleries that joins works of art from the collections of the Autry and Southwest Museums. The newly renovated galleries will offer a dramatically different account of the “Art of the West” than has been offered since the museum opened in 1988. The new gallery structure will integrate works by Native American, Euro-American, Hispanic and other artists within spaces previously given over to paintings, sculptures, and objects of material cultured by European American artists. Students in this seminar will be asked to focus on and learn about both the history of the Museum’s engagement with, and promotion of, an “Art of the West.” At the same time they will consider the transformation of the historical and curatorial goals of the museum by focusing on the re-invention and re-narration of the Museum’s art collection underway since 2013. Our seminar group will also have the opportunity to collaborate with an Autry Museum Curator throughout the semester.
Writing 250: Writing for the Community
Professor Julie Prebel
This course encourages an engaged and dynamic approach to writing studies, as it places writing in real-world contexts by partnering Oxy students with community organizations (in Los Angeles and Pasadena). Through these partnerships, students will identify local cultural and social concerns—specifically on the topics of homelessness, poverty, and immigration, which represent the interests of our particular community groups—and will use writing and rhetorical tools for analyzing and addressing these issues. In this class, we will explore a wide range of research and writing strategies common to both academic environments and the work place situations of our community partners, such as: primary or field research, secondary or library-based research, and both individual and collaborative writing projects. This course will allow students to see community nonprofit organizations, plus the cultural, social, and political issues and rhetoric surrounding them, from the inside out. The work of this class is thus both scholarly and practical, motivating student learning by enlivening and enriching students’ approaches to academic work.
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