21G.013 | Fall 2005 | Undergraduate

Out of Ground Zero: Catastrophe and Memory


Reading questions related to assigned readings can be found in the study materials section. Detailed citations can be found in the readings section.


Documentary Film (in-class screening): Gédéon and Jules Naudet. 9/11.

Halbwachs, Maurice. “Individual and Collective Memory,” and “Space and the Collective Memory.”

Huyssen, Andreas. “Twin Memories: After-Images of 9/11.”

Boyer, M. Christine. “Meditations on a Wounded Skyline and Its Stratigraphies of Pain.”


Hobsbawm, Eric. “The Age of Total War.”

Yoneyama, Lisa. “Introduction,” “Tropes of the Nation, Peace, and Humanity,” “Memories in Ruins,” and “On the Politics of Historical Memory.”

3 Excursion to New York City  

Performance (in-class screening): Hijikata, Tatsumi, Taka Iimura, and Eiko Hosoe. Navel and Atomic Bomb.

Munroe, Alexandra. “Revolt of the Flesh: Ankoku Butoh and Obsessional Art.”

Viala, Judith. “The Return of Hijikata.” Foreword and Introduction.

Hein, Carola. “Hiroshima: The Atomic Bomb and Kenzo Tange’s Hiroshima Peace Center.”


Film (in-class screening): Resnais, Alain. Hiroshima, Mon Amour.

Caruth, Cathy. “Literature and the Enactment of Memory: Duras, Resnais, Hiroshima, Mon Amour.”

First essay due (500-750 words)

Sebald, W. G. “Air War and Literature.”

Ladd, Brian. “Nazi Berlin.”


Levi, Primo. “Argon,” “Carbon,” and “Hydrogen.”

Agamben, Giorgio. Preface, and “The Witness.”

Young, James. “Germany’s Holocaust Memorial Problem – And Mine.”


Film (in-class screening): Rossellini, Roberto. Germany in Year Zero.

Brockmann, Stephen. “German Literature, Year Zero: Writers and Politics: 1945-53.”


Recording (in-class play): Einstürzende Neubauten. Strategies against Architecture.

Sarig, Roni. “The Postindustrial Wasteland,” and “Einstürzende Neubauten.”

Documentary Film (in-class screening): Siegert, Hubertus, and Ralph Stern. Berlin Babylon.

Ladd, Brian. “Capital of the New Germany.”

Second essay due (750-1000 words)

Page, Max. “Creatively Destroying New York: Fantasies, Premonitions, and Realities in the Provisional City.”

Lentricchia, Frank, and Jody McAuliffe. “Groundzeroland.”

Harvey, David. “Cracks in the Edifice of the Empire State.”


Wigley, Mark. “Insecurity by Design.”

Darnton, Eric. “The Janus Face of Architectural Terrorism: Minoru Yamasaki, Mohammed Atta, and Our World Trade Center.”

Wallace, Mike. “New York, New Deal.”

12 Review