Critiquing Memorials in the US and Europe

Welcome to participate in the intensive seminar course by prof. Rachel Stevens "Critiquing Memorials in the US and Europe: Opportunities for Ukraine". 

Deadline for applications:  March, 26th

Selection results shall be announced on April, 10th

Cource duration – April 2018
Study schedule – Mondays and Thursdays, 16:30-18:00.
Venue – Center for Urban History (6, Bohomoltsia str.) Library.
Study format – seminar-workshop. 
Working language – English
At the end of the course participants will receive a certificate of completion.

Applications are welcome from undergraduate students (Bachelor’s and Master’s level), post-graduates, and junior research fellows. The students of history and art history, culture and visual studies especially encouraged to apply. Participation in the seminar is also open for young practitioners interested in wildly understood visual culture (or just in one of its areas), who wants to develop one’s skills to analyze visual, media images of different kinds

Short course description:

Memorials are about remembering.  What we memorialize may be uplifting examples of human courage and kindness or brutal reminders of the dark side of the soul. But who decides what will be honored and why?  Memorials are public artworks designed to convey strong messages in a wide array of forms and functions.  We memorialize wars, genocide, social upheavals, political icons, and artistic triumphs. The decision of what and how the past will be remembered is a nuanced, complex subject.  In this class we discuss these issues, but focus on ways of memorializing the Holocaust, in particular the 75th Anniversary of the liquidation of Janowska Death Camp.  

Course Summary:  

The first two classes of this course will be conveyed through slide lectures and discussion. 

Class 1:  We will examine Memorials and Monuments in the United States, with a focus on those sited at the national mall in Washington DC.  The evolution of Monuments and Memorials will be visually shown and discussed.  Over the years, representations of heroism and grandeur have ebbed and flowed like tides.  We will highlight examples of Jim Crow era monuments that glorify Confederate leaders and racist themes.  Recently, these celebrations of slavery and rebellion have become lightning rods for controversy due to shifting American attitudes and demographics.   What were once honored statues and sites, are now painful reminders of the legacy of hate that still plagues the United States despite the election of President Barrack Obama. 

Class 2:  We will investigate Memorials and Monuments to the Holocaust constructed from the later-half of the 20th century into the present.  This year is the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the Janowska death camp in Lviv.  Therefore, we will focus on the evolution of Holocaust memorials in the United States, Europe, and Israel since that tragic event. We will discuss how narratives that inform these monuments reflect each nation’s identity and memory of the Shoah.  In this light, we will discuss opportunities and challenges in Ukraine, using two emblematic Memorials in Lviv:  The Space of Synagogues and the Lwow Ghetto Memorial.

Class 3:  Field trip to Space of Synagogues, Lwow Ghetto Memorial, and Janowska.  Students will discuss these projects in the context of their sites.

Class 4:  Students will present their ideas for commemorating Janowska.  Ideas may be presented in the form of an artwork, drawing, song, poem, or written document.

Requirements for course applications:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter (up to 3 000 signs to explain why the course is important for you)

Please, send applications to the address of the academic coordinator Maryana Mazurak at . Please, note in the subject field "Application for course by Rachel Stevens". Feel free to ask for more details on the course at this email.

 Rachel Stevens is a Professor of Sculpture at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  She received her MFA from Syracuse University in 1993 and her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1985. From January to June 2018, Prof. Rachel Stevens will stay on her Fulbright program in Lviv and implements a research art-project "A Forest Grows in the Synagogue: Reimagining the Galician Jewish Landscape through Sculpture".