Histories of Memories in the 19th Century

Susan A. Crane
Fridays 10 AM - 12 PM (AZ Time)
October 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2021
Watch the video to learn more about this course

Histories of Memories in the 19th Century

Fall 2021
In Session
10 AM - 12 PM (AZ Time)
October 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2021


Main Campus



The past is what happened. History is what we write about it. History and memory are not opposed terms; rather, history and memory shape each other through remembering, forgetting and erasure. Historical narratives are always informed by memories of the past that are alive in individuals’ minds, including what we learned about the past through written and visual histories. Memories exist in individual brains, but they would not persist without social and collective memory frameworks which we study as “histories of memories.” This course will examine histories of memories during the “long” nineteenth century in the West and its empires (1789-1918) through the institutions and technologies that facilitate recall: museums, photography and cinema, print media and visual culture, as well as academic disciplines which emerged to study memory phenomena, such as history, psychology, archaeology, paleontology and more – many of which were formalized in the 19th century. The emergence of modern notions of time and its rapid pace of change will be considered alongside practices of preservation, conservation and the creation of memorials and monuments. Topics may include: the human body as a site of memory (tattoos, funerary practices); Napoleonic and Civil War memorials; theories of extinction; time capsules; tourism and souvenirs; Romanticism and ruins.

Please Note: this course’s title is similar to that of the course previously taught by Professor Crane in the summer of 2017; however, the course content this time will be drawn from the 19th Century and completely new. The 2017 course is not being repeated, nor is it a prerequisite for the new course.

NEW - Hybrid Course Format

  • All classes will be delivered both in person and online via live video streaming. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • In person classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in person classes is limited by classroom capacity and offered on a first come, first served basis. All students attending on campus will observe the relevant University of Arizona policies designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 (more information here). Students who enroll to attend in person will also have complete online access to the course including all class recordings.   
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real time. Students may also access class recordings for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.

Registration will open online on Monday, August 9, 2021 at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • No textbook is required. All readings and class materials will be distributed to students electronically. 

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Associate Professor
Department of History

SUSAN A. CRANE is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Arizona. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago and taught at the University of Oregon for two years before coming to the University of Arizona in 1995. Her research interests revolve around historical consciousness, subjectivity and memory. She is the author of Nothing Happened: A History (Stanford University Press, 2021) and editor of The Cultural History of Memory in the 19th Century (Bloomsbury Publishers, 2020).


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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