History as Social Therapy and Trauma Recovery
7.5 ECTS credits
The course covers processes of trauma recovery in relation to historical traumas. The issue of moral implications for the history subject will be raised, but no final answers will be provided concerning right or wrong, good or evil. Instead the course examines to what extent history can function as an instrument for processing collective trauma. If repressed memories are brought into the light and examined systematically, will this facilitate liberation from the demons of the past? Or will perhaps too much of an emphasis on the wrongs of the past instead hamper the peaceful co-existence of for instance different ethnic groups? In 2003, the Swedish government established a special agency called Living History Forum. The original purpose was to disseminate knowledge of the circumstances of the Holocaust, and later other instances of genocide have been included as well. The agency has had an explicit normative aim, and its purpose has been to promote tolerance, diversity, and democracy, in some sense through learning from the past. Since the Holocaust has arguably been a privileged object of analysis for a long time, the course will not focus specifically on this particular topic, even though Holocaust memories in post-war Germany are treated. The course focuses on certain other, not yet thoroughly processed traumas, such as the traumas of Finland after the civil war in 1918, Bosnia after the Balkan wars in the 1990s, South Africa after apartheid, and Spain after Franco. The ambition is to reflect upon experiences that to various degrees and in different ways raise issues such as responsibility, guilt, silence, active or passive support for evil regimes, but also the issue of how these traumas might be processed therapeutically. In a more general sense, the course also touches upon questions of collective memory production, ideology, and identity.
Progressive specialisation: G1N (has only upper‐secondary level entry requirements)
Education level: Undergraduate level
Admission requirements: General admission requirements
Selection is usually based on your grade point average from upper secondary school or the number of credit points from previous university studies, or both.
This course is included in the following programme
- Master programme in History (studied during year 2)