How do photographs structure our memories? How do they obscure them? In this course we will think about the relationship between photography, narrative, and personal memory. We will read twentieth century authors who incorporate photographs into their literary works. These authors turn to photographs to explore the connections between fictional narratives, personal memory, and the historical past. In these works personal memory is intimately connected with national and ethnic identity, as well as historical trauma. As we read we’ll consider a number of questions: Why do photographs become compelling literary devices? What are the boundaries between visual art and literature? What are the connections between photography and memory? We will not only theorize the relationship between photography and memory, we will also explore that relationship through our own photography.


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