English

Introduction to Graduate Studies: Criticism as Profession

Subject Code: 
DLCL
Course Number: 
369
Crosslisted as: 
COMPLIT 369
Crosslisted as: 
FRENCH 369
Crosslisted as: 
GERMAN 369
Crosslisted as: 
ITALIAN 369
Description: 

 

A number of faculty will present published work and discuss their research and composition process. We will read critical, theoretical, and literary texts that address, in different ways, "What is a World?" Taught in English.
Instructor: 
Gregory (Grisha) Freidin
Instructor: 
Dan Edelstein
Term: 
Aut
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
5
Day/Time: 
F 2:15 PM - 5:05 PM

Music and Critical Theory

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
310A
Crosslisted as: 
MUSIC 310A
Description: 

 

The seminar provides an opportunity to study some of the seminal texts of Critical Theory dealing with music. Concentrating on Theodor Adorno's writings on music, we will also include key philosophers who informed Adorno's thinking (in particular Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche), influential nineteenth-century aesthetics of music (Hoffmann, Schopenhauer and Hanslick), other contemporaries of Adorno (for example, Ernst Bloch), and some later authors whose work was influenced by the Frankfurt School (such as Carl Dahlhaus). We will also consider the impact of Critical Theory on recent scholarship. Weekly meetings will be organized around various topics, ranging from central concepts such as "Enlightenment" and "musical material" to individual composers. Music by Wagner, Mahler, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Weill will feature prominently on the syllabus.
Instructor: 
Adrian Daub
Term: 
Spr
Units: 
3-5
Day/Time: 
T 3:15 PM - 6:05 PM

Central European Literature

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
218
Description: 

 

Central Europe is not a clearly defined region so much as an idea debated with particular intensity in the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Part reality part fantasy, "Central Europe" refers to a contested space between East and West, between cosmopolitanism and provincial narrowness, a space whose diversity has fostered cultural creativity, political conflict and utopian fantasy. Our survey will focus on fiction, memoires and essayistic commentary from the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It will comprise the dissolution of the empire, the interwar years, the Cold War decades and the postcommunist era. Attention to the predicament of small nations, "minor" literatures and cultural cross-pollination. Authors include Musil, Kafka, Roth, Kosztolányi, Márai, Hasek, Svevo, Kis, Torberg, Hrabal, Kundera, Esterházy, Magris. Discussion and readings in English.
Instructor: 
Márton Dornbach
Term: 
Spr
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
4
Day/Time: 
M 1:15 PM - 4:05 PM

Resistance Writings in Nazi Germany

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
104
Description: 

 

This course focuses on documents generated by nonmilitary resistance groups during the period of National Socialism. Letters, essays, diaries, and statements on ethics from the Bonhoeffer and Scholl families form the core of the readings. The resistance novel Every Man Dies Alone is also included. Texts will be read as historical documents, reflections of German thought, statements of conscience, attempts to maintain normal relationships with others in the face of great risk, as poetic works, and as guides for the development of an ethical life. Taught in English.
Instructor: 
Elizabeth Bernhardt
Term: 
Spr
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
3
Day/Time: 
TTh 1:15 PM - 3:05 PM

Walter Benjamin

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
264A
Crosslisted as: 
COMPLIT 264
Description: 

 

Walter Benjamin's work as cultural historian, critic, literary author and philosopher, seen from the trajectory of a German-Jewish intellectual life in the context of the first half of the 20th century. Providing such a historical perspective will be the condition for an actively critical reading of Benjamin's works; a reading that -- counter to the predominant Benjamin-reception -- will try to distinguish between works of purely biographical and historical interest and those Benjamin texts that prove to be of great and lasting intellectual value. Taught in English.
Instructor: 
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Term: 
Win
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
5
Day/Time: 
Th 3:15 PM - 6:05 PM

Futurity: Why the Past Matters

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
271
Crosslisted as: 
COMPLIT 271A
Description: 

 

Drawing on literature, the arts, political discourse, museums, and new media, this course asks why and how we take interest in the watershed events of the modern era; how does contemporary culture engages with modern, made-made disasters such as the World Wars or 9/11? Readings and viewings include the literature of G. Grass, W. G. Sebald, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy; the cinema of Kathryn Bigelow and Steven Spielberg; speeches by Barack Obama; and the theoretical writing of Walter Benjamin, Hayden White, Fredric Jameson, among others. Taught in English.
Instructor: 
Amir Eshel
Term: 
Win
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
3-5
Day/Time: 
F 2:15 PM - 5:05 PM

German Capstone Project

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
191
Description: 

 

Each student participates in a capstone interview and discussion with a panel of the German Studies faculty on topics related to German cultural and literary analysis. In prepration for the interview/discussion, students submit written answers to a set of questions based on several authentic cultural texts in German. The written answers, normally in English, should be well-formed and coherent. Within the interview/discussion, students must demonstrate a further understanding of the topic(s) posed, through cogent argument.
Term: 
Win
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
1

Cultures of Forgetting: On the Ethics and Aesthetics of Dementia

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
233
Description: 

Both identity and narration rely on memory and (some extent of) cohesion. What happens in the case of dementia, when the ability to remember fails and language tends to disintegrate? Reading scientific and (fictitious or biographical) literary texts, we will analyze competing concepts of forgetting, their bioethical and political impact against the backdrop of (post-) World War II, possible differences between European and American ways of relating dementia, and the aesthetic strategies of telling stories about the breakdown of language. Readings include literary texts by J. Bernlef, Irene Dische, Ulrike Draesner, Jonathan Franzen, Arno Geiger, Michael Ignatieff, Tilman Jens, and Alice Munro. Taught in English with some readings in German. 6-week course, offered weeks 1-6.

Term: 
Aut
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
3
Day/Time: 
T 12:15 PM - 3:05 PM

Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
246
Description: 

 

Written in the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars, Hegel's masterpiece is a freewheeling philosophical story about what Hegel takes to be the experiential path that consciousness must traverse from rudimentary awareness to insight into the absolute truth. Experience, as Hegel understands it, is a necessary process in the course of which consciousness becomes estranged from itself in order finally to recognize itself in its object. This recognition seals the knowledge that thought is not finite and constrained by an inert reality but absolutely free, the only source of authority for modern subjects. We will ask whether Hegel's thesis about the supremacy of conceptual thought is compatible with his reliance on narrative form and dramatic impersonation. How does Hegel's survey of rival models of consciousness and forms of life relate to historical reality? Is the ideal of modernity upheld by Hegel still relevant in the light of recent developments? Discussion and readings in English.
Instructor: 
Márton Dornbach
Term: 
Aut
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
4

Modern Conservatives

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
80N
Description: 
How do conservatives respond to the modern world? How do they find a balance between tradition and freedom, or between stability and change? This seminar will examine selections from some conservative and some classically liberal writers that address these questions. At the center of the course are thinkers who left Germany and Austria before the Second World War: Friedrich Hayek, Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt. We will also look at earlier European writers, such Edmund Burke and Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as some recent American thinkers. Taught in English.
Instructor: 
Russell Berman
Term: 
Aut
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
4
Day/Time: 
MW 6:15 PM - 7:30 PM
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