Teaching the Rhetoric of Resistance analyzes diverse contemporary reactions to the depiction of the Holocaust and other cultural traumas in museums, movies, television shows, classroom discussions, and bestselling books. Samuels scrutinizes roles played by historical trauma and the popular media in the shaping of ethnic identity as it becomes increasingly pertinent against the backdrop of globalization. In concentrating on the multiple ways the Holocaust is represented and received in different media, Samuels locates four central defense mechanisms that people employ in order to be able to cope with important ethical lessons regarding historical traumas: identification, idealization, assimilation, and universalization. Building upon these defense mechanisms, the book is able to set out effective pedagogical strategies dedicated to overcoming student resistances to critical analysis and social engagement.

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