Accueil > Deliberate destruction, when annihilation includes the past

EJPR 12A03 - Winter Workshop - Behind the news: Deliberate destruction, when annihilation includes the past

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 15

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The purpose of this three day workshop will be to tackle the difficult question of “complete destruction” during a conflict or following it - not only of people but also of cities (urbicides), works of arts, elements of memories as if to eradicate their very existence. We will see that although we might see a surge, this recent attitude (Bamiyan Buddhas, Palmyra) has its roots in remote rites and customs (damnatio memoriae, destruction of buildings, revolutionary vandalism, and autodafés) and have always be part of conquest and control policies. To destroy a work of art, to burn books is indeed part of a complex political and social scheme to reshape the past, deny memory and to build anew. We will work on theoretical aspects and examples in the morning (2h30) and with texts and videos, articles and archives, interviews in the afternoon (2h30)



Pedagogical format

Group work on concepts. Document analysis.

Course validation

To validate the course, the student is expected to select a topic after the workshop and to write a resource paper. The deadline will be one month after the workshop (February 19th).

Required reading

The Destruction of Memory. Architecture at War, Bevan, Robert, 2006, Londres : Reaktion Books

Additional required reading

  • Letters on the destruction of the Yuan Ming Yuan by Charles Gordon and Victor Hugo
  • 1984, Georges Orwell, 1948
  • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953 (Movie by François Truffaut in 1966)