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ETHS 318 Trauma and Traumascapes: Identity, Legacy, and Memory

This course examines multiple intergenerational impacts and legacies of trauma, focused on concepts of community trauma, perpetrator trauma, and historic and contemporary traumatic events and actions affecting communities of color, Indigenous peoples, and ethnic and ethnoreligious groups. The course examines different sites of trauma, representation of trauma in various media, narratives of loss, mourning, and coping, and the socio-cultural politics of trauma. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

Learning outcomes


  • In this course, students will synthesize themes and experiences related to cross-generational trauma to understand how traumas impact and are passed on between and among generations.
  • Students will apply an interdisciplinary vocabulary in order to describe and discuss intergenerational community trauma.
  • Students will be knowledgeable about how places, landscapes, and traumascapes preserve memories of trauma that may be silenced through narratives and representations associated with that area.
  • Students will compare and contrast trauma and systemic violence and ways of coping or non-coping by individuals and groups in multiple areas of the world through specific cultural and social vantage points.
  • Students will analyze how memory plays a role in processing and coping or re-traumatizing within intergenerational and multigenerational trauma.
  • Students will explain how identity, power relations, and relationships between groups are shaped by trauma.
  • Students will appraise how various expressive works done by survivors of trauma, using many mediums and materials, contributes to the process of coping with trauma.
  • Students will appraise how avenues for community empowerment, memory, reparations, and reconciliation are mobilized in trauma recovery work, as well as outcomes when such avenues are not pursued.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 7: Human Diversity

  • Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  • Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  • Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.

Fall 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
50 Trauma and Traumascapes: Identity, Legacy, and Memory Nguyen, Kathy Ngoc Books for ETHS-318-50 Fall 2024 Course details for ETHS-318-50 Fall 2024