The Thematic Minor in Memory

Memory has a wide range of meanings and applications in many different contexts and disciplines. What, for example, is the connection and difference between artificial intelligence and human memory? How do people respond to traumatic events? How do certain animals remember similarly or differently from humans? How do nations remember great events and how do they construct their national identity accordingly? What is the importance of memory in relation to justice for the future of a collective? What rituals and performances are used to remember events? What does repetition have to do with memory, and how does this connection affect gender identity?

In order to explore these and other important questions, the minor in memory examines multidisciplinary approaches to understanding the various social, political, cultural, and technological functions of memory. It includes courses in disciplines such as psychology, computer science, gender studies, history, politics, biology, performance studies, Latin American studies, and others. Topics range from studies of trauma to the function of the archive, from the work of memory in the brain to the politics of memory.



  • A minimum of 16 academic credits


  • The Gateway Course: Psychology 208/Gender Studies 212f
  • Three additional 4-credit courses, chosen in consultation with the thematic minor director or chair of the minor, from the following faculty-approved list for the minor. The choices must span at least two disciplines or programs and must include at least one course at the 300 level.
    • Anthropology 334s (01): Memory, History, and Forgetting
    • Art (History) 310s (01): Seminar in Art History: Who Owns the Past?
    • German Studies 223, Remembrance of the Holocaust through Film
    • Psychology 225, Psychoanalytical Theory
    • Psychology 329, Psychology of Trauma


  • Independent study (295 or 395) with any faculty of the committee may be included.
  • After consultation with the chair, students choose a minor advisor from the committee.
  • Other courses at Mount Holyoke College or the Five Colleges may be included with permission of the student’s advisor. However, no more than one course toward the minor may be taken at other schools in the Five Colleges.