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FYSM: Bearing Witness: Home

About the FYSM: Trauma in Literature and Film Research Guide

This guide was created as a research starting point for students taking the First Year Seminar: Bearing Witness with Dr. Michelle Liptak. It should also be useful for students taking other courses. This guide is not meant to be exhaustive You may need to consult other resources.

Finding Articles

The following databases are good sources for locating articles from scholarly journals and reputable news publications.  These are just a selection from those available from the Standish Library.  Not sure what the best database is for your topic? Ask a librarian.

Locating Films at the Standish Library

The Standish Library has a large collection of films (including feature films, documentaries, and even some television programs) available on DVD. Most of these films are shelved on the library's lower-level, in call number order (just like books, but in a separate section).  To find out if we own a film, search the library's catalog by title.  A selected number of titles are kept at the library's circulation desk.  There will be a note on the catalog record that says "Ask Front Desk for Access." 

The library also has a subscription to Academic Video Online, a streaming service that includes both documentaries and feature films.

The Course Theme Description

Stories are said to document our experiences while informing, persuading, and possibly entertaining others. In this course, we will explore topics related to bearing witness through various forms of storytelling and will consider whose stories are told, by whom, and in what form. The various roles in storytelling will be examined - not only the storyteller’s but those bearing witness as viewers, listeners, readers, and interpreters. Questions about agency, subjectivity, dissemination, and responsibility will be considered while “reading” stories of trauma and triumph. In addition to the FYS common readings, we will examine and analyze a multitude of texts that ask us to serve as witnesses to both diverse and common human experiences.

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Catherine Crohan's picture
Catherine Crohan
(518) 782-6725

Standish Library, room 133
(518) 782-6725

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