Where History Meets Literature: Teaching the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Atrocity Through a Creative Approach in the Community College English Classroom
This chapter discusses how the author taught a unit on the Holocaust, genocide, and mass atrocity in a community college literature course. This unit included a talk by a Holocaust survivor, a guided tour of our campus’s Holocaust center, and a multimedia “museum” curating project in which students curated collections of literary, artistic, and historical sources related to the Holocaust, genocide, and mass atrocity. By contextualizing study of the Holocaust within different historical and societal contexts, students learned how Holocaust history remains relevant today. The unit’s interdisciplinary, creative, and student-directed nature, which encouraged exploration of historical and political issues through literary works and first-person narratives, also helped students understand why we study literature and how it plays a role in preserving historical memory.