German

Benjamin Conteh

Four memorable years at Stanford... a temporal span within which the DLCL availed me with every resource to explore the nuclei, edges, and corners of my academic passions. With my love for histories, languages and cultures, I entered Stanford with the desire to complement my experiences living, traveling, studying, and volunteering in Germany with formal engagement with German cultural, historical and political discourses. The great ideas I encountered during my time at the Department of German Studies have enriched and empowered me in ways that only the richest ideas from a bottomless and boundless stream of knowledge could educate, enrich, and empower an individual.

My time at Stanford was, of course, aided by many people whose support made it possible for me to enter Stanford University in the first place. Among my staunchest allies are: my mother, Kadiatu Conteh-Gbla, father, Francis Conteh, sister, Francess Conteh, friend, Mariama Charm, and brother Paul Conteh. My family and friends’ aspirations are my inspiration! Thank you Mom, Dad, “Mummy,” “May,” and “Ohm’s” for the nearly unconditional love, care, concern and support.

Central to my success at Stanford was the guidance I received from professors. Professors William E. Petig and Adrian Daub have been particularly helpful to me. Thank you very much Professor Petig and Professor Daub for the generous help you have rendered me both inside and outside the seminar halls in my time on The Farm.

Education programs run by The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia (WAC) and The Union League of Philadelphia (ULP) exposed me to international learning, which not only deepened my interest in international affairs, but also nurtured my aspiration to explore international relations. The generous support I received from the Gates Mil- lennium Scholars Program (GMS)—and from the program’s benefactor, William “Bill” Gates, Jr.—gave me the requisite financial standing for successful conclu- sion of undergraduate study at Stanford. The work of the Palo Alto-based non-profit institution, QuestBridge (QB), also played an important role in my maintaining balance at Stanford. Thank you Mr. Gates, GMS, QB, WAC, and ULP for your great works, which have so tremendously aided my growth.

I thank Ms. Erin Johnson, Bodine High School’s former liaison to the World Affairs Council. I also thank all of Bodine’s teachers who educate us with absolute dedication and faith. Ms. Johnson’s mentorship and guidance and Bodine’s educators’ unreserved assistance are the cardinal factors that encouraged me to even dream of
a Stanford education.

Thank you Stanford University for four great years of self-discovery and learning. Thank you for giving me the tools to better help myself and to empower others! Auf Wiederhören!

Education: 

B.A. in German Studies and International Relations

Language(s): 
German

German Literature Pre 1700: Medieval and Early Modern German Literature

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
220
Crosslisted as: 
GERMAN 320
Description: 

 

This seminar offers a survey of literary, cultural and intellectual developments in German-speaking lands from ca.1200 to 1600. We will begin our investigation with a sampling of medieval heroic epic, romance, lyric poetry, and mysticism. From there we will move into humanism and consider the invention of print and the popular literary forms characteristic of Reformation culture in the German lands. Discussion in English. All texts are available in modern German or English translation. Undergraduates enroll in 220 for 5 units, graduate students enroll in 320 for 8 units. UG Reqs: GER:DBHum
Instructor: 
Kathryn Starkey
Term: 
Aut
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
5-8
Day/Time: 
M 12:15 PM - 3:05 PM
Poster: 
course poster

Kathryn Starkey

portrait: Sylke Tempel
Contact: 

Pigott Hall 107
650 724 3622
starkey@stanford.edu

Office Hours: 
by appointment
Curriculum Vitae: 

Kathryn Starkey is Professor of German in the Department of German Studies. Her primary research interests are medieval and early modern German literature and culture with an emphasis on visuality, material culture, language, performativity, and the history of the book.

She is the author of Reading the Medieval Book: Word, Image, and Performance in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s “Willehalm” (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), and A Courtier’s Mirror: Cultivating Elite Identity in Thomasin's "Welscher Gast" (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, forthcoming). With Horst Wenzel (Humboldt University, Berlin), Professor Starkey has co-edited Imagination und Deixis: Studien zur Wahrnehmung im Mittelalter (Stuttgart: Hirzel, 2007), and Visual Culture and the German Middle Ages (New York: Palgrave Press, 2005). Together with Ann Marie Rasmussen (Duke) and Jutta Eming (Freie Universität, Berlin), she conducted a three-year research project funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation TransCoop Program on “Tristan and Isolde and Cultures of Emotion in the Middle Ages.” This project culminated in the co-edited volume Visuality and Materiality in the Story of Tristan (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2012). One of her current projects is a co-authored (with Edith Wenzel) edition, translation, and commentary of songs by the medieval poet Neidhart (ca. 1210-1240) entitled Neidhart: Selected Songs from the Riedegger Manuscript. She is currently also working on a monograph on narrative and time in medieval German literature.

Prof. Starkey has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the UNC Institute for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Before joining the faculty at Stanford in 2012 she taught in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Education: 

Ph.D., German Literature and Culture, University of California, Berkeley, 1998

MA., Germanic Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, 1993

BA Honours, German, Linguistics, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, 1990

Language(s): 
German

Stefan Willer

portrait:
Contact: 

Pigott Hall

650 723 4977

Office Hours: 
by appointment

 

Dr. Stefan Willer is Associate Director of the Center for Literary and Cultural Research (ZfL) Berlin and Director of the research project "Prognostik und Literatur" since 2010 and a lecturer at the Institute for Philosophy and the History of Literature, Science, and Technology at the Technical University Berlin since 2010.

He is interested in German and other literatures since the 18th century. One of his main interests has always been contemporary literature. His first book, Botho Strauß zur Einführung (Hamburg: Junius, 2000), is an introduction to one of today's most important German playwrights and novelists. Another focus is German and European romanticism. His second book (based on his PhD thesis), Poetik der Etymologie. Texturen sprachlichen Wissens in der Romantik (Berlin: Akademie, 2003), examines the both speculative and playful practices of etymology that were topical in the science of language around 1800. All in all, intersections of literature and science play an important part in his research, especially with regard to concepts of reproduction, generation, and inheritance. He is co-author of the book Das Konzept der Generation. Eine Wissenschafts- und Kulturgeschichte (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp 2008) and wrote his 'habilitation' thesis about theories and practices of cultural inheritance in German modernism: Erbfälle. Theorien und Praktiken kultureller Übertragung in der Moderne (München: Fink 2012). He co-edited several volumes and special issues, e.g. about religious poetry, exemplarity, and aging in literature. The latest one, Prophetie und Prognosik. Verfügungen über Zukunft in Wissenschaften, Religionen und Künsten (co-edited with Daniel Weidner, München: Fink 2012), is the first result of his ongoing project: the historical and contemporary interrelations between literature and knowledge about the future. 

Education: 

Dissertation: University of Münster, Spring semester 2001, summa cum laude.
Title: "Etymologische Texturen. Zur Poetik etymologischen Wissens in der romantischen Philologie". Advisor: Professor Detlef Kremer.
 
M.A.: University of Münster, spring semester 1996, Master’s degree "with honours" in Germanic and Romance Languages and Literatures, and Music.
 
Graduate Studies: 1993 - 1996 at the University of Münster.
 
Undergraduate Studies:1990 - 1993 at the University of Göttingen.

Language(s): 
German

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: 
Spr
Academic Year: 
2012-13
Day/Time: 
TTh 8:30a-9:45a

Dionysus - Mythology and Poetry of a Nietzschean Inspiration

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
210/310
Crosslisted as: 
CompLit 256A/356A
Description: 

The Greek god Dionysus became, like Apollo, the symbol of poetic imagination. In the modern era he substituted the Apolline tradition, while Apollo assumed the characteristics of Dionysus. We will examine this central poctological motif in texts by authors including Euripides, Keats, Nietzsche, Pound, and Eliot. Open to advanced undergraduates. Taught in English. 

Instructor: 
Karl Heinz Bohrer
Term: 
Aut
Academic Year: 
2012-13
Units: 
3-5
Day/Time: 
F 1:15pm-4:05pm
Poster: 
course poster

Wrestling with Modernity: German Literature and Thought from 1900 to the Present

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
222
Crosslisted as: 
COMPLIT 222A
Crosslisted as: 
GERMAN 322
Description: 

 

Masters of German 20th and 21st Century literature and philosophy as they present aesthetic innovation and confront the challenges of modern technology, social alienation, manmade catastrophes, and imagine the future. Readings include Nietzsche, Freud, Rilke, Musil, Brecht, Kafka, Doeblin, Benjamin, Juenger, Arendt, Musil, Mann, Adorno, Celan, Grass, Bachmann, Bernhardt, Wolf, and Kluge. Taught in English. Undergraduates enroll in 222 for 5 units, graduate students enroll in 322 for 8 units.
Instructor: 
Amir Eshel
Term: 
Spr
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Units: 
3-5
Day/Time: 
F 2:15 PM - 5:05 PM

Bildungsroman and Other Biographical Fictions

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
234/334
Description: 

Life hermeneutics practiced in the psychological novel, Bildungsroman, and autobiography. Intersections and contrasts among these genres. The origins of the notion of progress and its fictional translations; possibilities of historical and fictional closure; and the emergence of the novel's protagonist as a disciplinary subject. Authors include Augustine, Rousseau, Goethe, Moritz, and Keller. Taught in English.

Term: 
Win
Academic Year: 
2012-13
Day/Time: 
F 2:15-5:05p

Oedipus, Hamlet, Moses: Archetypes of the Hero

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
291A/391A
Description: 

Texts that provided psychoanalysis with its foundational myths. Oedipus, Moses, and Hamlet as archetypes of the hero related to moments of emerging modernity: from mythos to logos, polytheism to monotheism, and action to thought. The interplay among knowledge, recognition, and desire; the role of sameness and alterity in the constitution of personal, familial, and national identities; violence and the construction of history. Readings include: Exodus, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Freud, Cavafy; theoretical essays by Laplanche, Lacan, Certeau, Kofman, Assmann, and Cavell. Taught in English.

Term: 
Spr
Academic Year: 
2012-13
Day/Time: 
M 3:15p-6:05p

Memory and the Modernist Novel

Subject Code: 
GERMAN
Course Number: 
121N
Description: 

As early as the mid-19th century, the French poet Charles Baudelaire saw a new "art of memory" as a main characteristic of modernity.  An exploration of the relationship between memory and modernism through an intensive reading of three major narrative texts: Rainer Maria Rilke's "The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge," James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," and Marcel Proust's "Combray." Taught in English.

Term: 
Win
Academic Year: 
2012-13
Day/Time: 
MW 2:15p-3:45p
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