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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

American Memories

Instructor(s): Dan Nathan, American Studies (F06, F10, F14, F18 & F21); Greg Pfitzer, American Studies (F08 & F12)

How does memory work? What is the relationship between the past and memory, between memory and history? How do individual and collective memories influence, complement, and contradict one another? How are memories reconstructed, interpreted, transmitted and transformed? In this seminar, we explore disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on American memories, personal and public, considering some of the many ways Americans have remembered (and forgotten) specific people, places, and events in our national past, such as Abraham Lincoln, colonial Williamsburg, and the Oklahoma City bombing. Students will examine various cultural mechanisms of memory production—monuments, museums, and movies—and will explore the historically distinct ways in which memories have been reconstructed, used and abused.

Course Offered