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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Memorials and Cultural Memory (HIAR11119)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course investigates the historical and contemporary politics of memorials and their role in shaping cultural memory.

We will examine how ideas of cultural, social, and collective memory can be used to inform our reading of visual culture and begin to unpick the role public art can play in processes of commemoration and memorialisation.
Course description Memorials and monuments shape public spaces and cultural memory long after those who commission and produce them pass on. In this course we explore how their meanings shift over time and what happens when they become symbols of repression or resistance.

Through a series of local, national, and international case studies we examine the production, reception, and afterlife of memorials from the late nineteenth century to the present day. We will look at the form and impact of commemorative public art as well as its complex relationship with the events memorialised and the creative interventions they inspire. Using memorials as a starting point, we will examine legacies of cultural dominance, commemoration, innovation, and iconoclasm in public spaces. This interdisciplinary course focuses on the art and visual culture of memorials by drawing from heritage studies, queer theory, postcolonial theory, and cultural studies to build a picture of our changing relationship with the past.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key developments and debates in the field of memorials, monuments and other forms of public commemorative art.
  2. Analyse the ways in which artists and critics have engaged with different models of art institutions and art publics.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the role of monuments and memorials in shaping cultural memory, with different political implications and effects.
  4. Critically examine how and why broader historical changes in society have contributed to changes in public commemorative art projects.
  5. Apply developed skills of analysis, communication, and organisation.
Reading List

Huyssen, Andreas. Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory. Stanford University Press, 2003.

Martini, Annaclaudia, and Dorina Maria Buda. ¿Dark Tourism and Affect: Framing Places of Death and Disaster.¿ Current Issues in Tourism, vol. 23, no. 6, 2020, pp. 679¿92.

Senie, Harriet, and Sally Webster, editors. Critical Issues in Public Art: Content, Context, and Controversy. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.

Sodaro, Amy. Exhibiting Atrocity: Memorial Museums and the Politics of Past Violence. Rutgers University Press, 2018.

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Beacon Press, 1995.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis; Clear thinking and the development of an argument; Independent research; Presentation and communication skills; Organisation and planning; Teamwork through group discussion
Course organiserDr Keava McMillan
Course secretaryMr Nathan Ross-Hammond
Tel: (0131 6)51 5880
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