Programmi 2014-15


Letteratura inglese I 2014-15 (II)


Course Contents:

Trauma and Testimony: Responses to the Shoah, the Bomb, 9/11


We shall work on memory and its twentieth-century pathologies. Traumatic events such as the Shoah, the atomic bomb and, more recently, the attack against the Twin Towers and the London Bombings in 2007 keep the entire globe painfully aware of the immediacy of catastrophe.

We shall focus on works dealing with memory, loss, trauma and possible regeneration and adopt Z. Bauman’s formulations of our contemporary world as ‘fluid’ and unstable. We shall discover the presence of trauma in our times through the voices of E. Sitwell, M. Amis, T. Keneally, I. McEwan and through some filmic versions and revisions of their works.


Recommended Reading:


  1. Sitwell, “Three Poems of the Holocaust”
  2. Amis, “Unthinkability”, in Einstein’s Monsters, London, Random House, 2002
  3. Keneally, Schindler’s Ark, London, Stodder and Houghton, 1982
  4. McEwan, Saturday, London, Jonathan Cape, 2005


Critical works:

Agamben, Giorgio. Preface, and “The Witness.” In Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive. New York, NY: Zone Books, 2002.

Boyer, Christine M. “Meditations on a Wounded Skyline and Its Stratigraphies of Pain.” Chapter 10 in After the World Trade Center: Rethinking New York City. Edited by Michael Sorkin and Sharon Zukin. New York, NY: Routledge, 2002. Halbwachs, Maurice. “Individual and Collective Memory,” and “Space and the Collective Memory.” In On Collective Memory. Edited by Lewis A. Coser. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

Hobsbawm, Eric. “The Age of Total War.” Chapter 1 in The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1996.

Huyssen, Andreas. “Twin Memories: After-Images of Nine/Eleven.” Grey Room 1, no. 7 (Spring 2002): 8-13.

Lentricchia, Frank and Jody McAuliffe. “Groundzeroland.” In Crimes of Art and Terror. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Luckhurst, Roger, The Trauma Question, London, Routledge, 2008



Hiroshima, Mon Amour. Directed by Alain Resnais. 1959. (Language: French)

Germania anno Zero. Roberto Rossellini. Image Entertainment, 1947. (Language: Italian/German)

9/11. Directed by Jules and Gedeon Naudet. 2002.


Further short texts on the specific texts analysed will be offered during lectures.

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