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Second year, second semester

ELL2001S Literature and the Work of Memory

How do we understand, imagine and reanimate the past in language? This course explores questions of memory, remembering and time as these are refracted and represented via a range of verbal, literary and performative forms. We will consider the making of collective and public memory (e.g. the creation of national pasts; cultures of commemoration; oral history; testimonial forms; displacement, exile and global conflict; literatures of war) but also the question of individual and personal memory (e.g. language and identity; narrative and subjectivity; literature and psychoanalytic theory) As such, the course opens onto a wide range of topics, including but not limited to: the relation between the literary text and the history text; life-writing, autobiography and memoir; representations of childhood; engagements with the archive; the question of silenced, repressed or invisible histories; the historical, post-colonial and post-apartheid novel; discourses of trauma, truth and reconciliation; forgetting and nostalgia; death and commemoration, the archive and performance.

Lecture times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Period three; 10:00-10:45 OR Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Period four; 11:00-11:45.
Lectures start in the first week of each semester, tutorials start in the second week.

Timetable, tutorial times and tutorial sign-up are published on Vula once you have registered for the course.

Entrance requirements: ELL1013F, ELL1016S and ELL2000F if major, second year status if an elective, or at the discretion of the Head of Department.

DP requirements: None.

Assessment:  Continuous assessment (essays, projects, tests, etc.) counts 100%.

Prescribed Texts, 2020

117 Days - Ruth First (book provided on VULA)

The Distance - Ivan Vladislavić (e-book provided by UCT Library)

Prodigal Daughters: Stories of South African Women in Exile - Lauretta Ngcobo (provided on VULA)

The Swimming Lesson - Kobus Moolman (e-book provided by UCT Library)

Murambi: the book of bones - Boubacar Boris Diop (e-book provided y UCT Library)

 Various essays and excerpts will be provided on VULA.