Course Archive

(jump to 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15)
 

Spring 2015 Undergraduate Courses

GMAN 160 (22197)

German Culture, History, and Politics in Text and Film

Theresa Schenker

An advanced language course focused on improving upper-level language skills through the discussion of selected aspects of post-1945 German culture, politics, and history in literary and nonliterary texts and film. Includes oral and written assignments with an emphasis on vocabulary building and increased cultural awareness. After GMAN 140, 145, or 150. L5

GMAN 191 (22426) / LITR 334

Problems of Lyric

Howard Stern

Masterpieces of European and American lyric studied in relation to the various determinants of poetry: grammar and logic, meter and rhyme, self-consciousness and performativity, myth and theme. Poets include Brecht, Rilke, Goethe, Frost, and Elizabeth Bishop. Reading knowledge of German or French useful but not required. HU

GMAN 209 (22267) / HIST 231

War in Germany, 1648–2010

John Tooze

The rise and fall of modern militarism in Germany. Individual battles, soldiers, and weapons discussed within a broader context of the justification and regulation of state violence. Germany as a European battlefield, and as a nation that has perhaps come closest to drawing a final, concluding line under its military history. HU

GMAN 210 (22199) / HUMS 322

The Frankfurt School

Kirk Wetters

Major works of the Frankfurt school of social research explored in the context of twentieth-century social, psychological, political, literary, and aesthetic thought. HU

GMAN 225 (22201) / FILM 346 / LITR 362, Intermediality in Film

Brigitte Peucker

The relationship of film to theater and painting, with the suggestion that where two media are in evidence, there is usually a third. Topics include space, motion, color, theatricality, tableau vivant, ekphrasis, spectatorship, and new media. Readings feature art-historical and film-theoretical texts as well as essays pertinent to specific films. HU

GMAN 247 (22206) / HUMS 227 / LITR 201

Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister

Kirk Wetters

A detailed study of Goethe’s two Wilhelm Meister novels. Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship as the first novel of the nineteenth century and the prototypical novel of education (Bildungsroman); Wilhelm Meister’s Journeyman Years as an unconventional sequel in which Goethe shows his unwillingness to repeat the model of his earlier breakthrough work. Readings and discussion in English. HU

Spring 2015 Graduate Courses

GMAN 520 (21047) / PHIL 613

History of Analytic Philosophy

Paul Franks

A study of the problems and methods of early analytic philosophers, including Frege, Russell, Moore, Wittgenstein and the Logical Positivists. Problems such as realism, a priori propositions and convention, logic and meaning, empirical knowledge, verification and truth. Methods of analysis deploying formal notations, and studies of ordinary and scientific uses of language.

GMAN 615 (20818) / CPLT 964

Meaning and History: Blumenberg, Derrida, Foucault

Rudiger Campe

Discussion of seminal works by Blumenberg, Derrida, and Foucault from the early 1960s. All three authors develop models of critical hermeneutics from their respective readings of Husserl (and Heidegger) on science and technology (Crisis of European Sciences). We explore how a general rethinking of interpretation and criticism in the humanities starts from the questioning of science and technology, and what this means for today’s humanities.

GMAN 705 (21051) / PHIL 702

Nietzsche: Truth, Value, and Tragedy

Karsten Harries

An examination of Nietzsche’s understanding of tragedy as the only acceptable answer to nihilism, given the death of God. T 1:30–3:20 GMAN 760bU/CPLT 905bU/FILM 760bU, Intermediality in Film Brigitte Peucker Film is a hybrid medium, the meeting point of several others. This course focuses on the relationship of film to theater and painting, suggesting that where two media are in evidence, there is usually a third. Topics include space, motion, color, theatricality, tableau vivant, ekphrasis, spectatorship, and new media. Readings feature art historical and film theoretical texts as well as essays pertinent to specific films. Films by Fassbinder, Bergman, Murnau, von Trier, Rohmer, Godard, Kiarostami, and others, concluding with three films by Peter Greenaway.

GMAN 710 01 (20792) 

Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister

Kirk Wetters

Goethe’s epoch-making Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship marks a turning point in the history of the novel. Published in 1795–96, it is generally recognized as the first novel of the nineteenth century and as the prototypical novel of education. In the unconventional sequel, Wilhelm Meister’s Journeyman Years, Goethe shows his unwillingness to repeat the model of his earlier breakthrough work.

GMAN 760 01 (20807) 

Intermediality in Film

Brigitte Peucker

Film is a hybrid medium, the meeting point of several others. This course focuses on the relationship of film to theater and painting, suggesting that where two media are in evidence, there is usually a third. Topics include space, motion, color, theatricality, tableau vivant, ekphrasis, spectatorship, and new media. Readings feature art historical and film theoretical texts as well as essays pertinent to specific films. Films by Fassbinder, Bergman, Murnau, von Trier, Rohmer, Godard, Kiarostami, and others, concluding with three films by Peter Greenaway.

Fall 2014 Undergraduate Courses

GMAN 162 01 (12933) 

Contemporary German Culture

Theresa Schenker

Analysis and discussion of current social and cultural trends. Topics drawn from newspapers, films, TV series, cabaret, short literary texts, and talks. Focus on oral and written production to improve upper-level linguistic skills.

Prerequisite: GMAN 150, or with permission of instructor. May not be taken for credit after GMAN 168.

GMAN 172 01 (12934) 

Introduction to German Theater

Nadine Schwakopf

An advanced language course that addresses key authors and works of the German theatrical tradition. Refinement of skills in reading comprehension, writing, and speaking. Authors include Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Kleist, Büchner, Hebbel, Wedekind, Brecht, and Müller.

GMAN 211 01 (12935) /HUMS311/PHIL412

Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

Rüdiger Campe

The revolutionary ways in which Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud redefined the ends of freedom. Key works of the three authors on agency in politics, economics, epistemology, social life, and sexuality. Agency as individual or collective, as autonomous or heteronomous, and as a case of liberation or subversion. Additional readings from Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Weber.

GMAN 226 01 (12803) /LITR470

Faust

Jan Hagens

The development of the Faust motif through time, from the legend’s origins in the Renaissance-Reformation period to twentieth-century variations. Readings from the English adaptation of the original German chapbook, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Goethe’s Faust (Part I), and Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus; screenings of films with a Faustian theme.

GMAN 234 01 (12938) /LITR244

German Fairy Tales

Henry Sussman

The influence of German fairy tales on the genre of fiction and on the emergence of psychology, psychoanalysis, and folklore. The fairy tale’s relation to romanticism; the importance of childhood sensibility to the fields of education, psychology, criticism, and cybernetics; the expansion of children’s literature into new mass media.

GMAN 268 01 (12940) /LITR457/GMAN564/CPLT532/HUMS262

W. G. Sebald

Carol Jacobs

Close readings of the major works of W. G. Sebald along with texts of other authors who played a direct role in these writings, including Thomas Browne, Grimmelshausen, Kafka, and Heshel. Texts in relation to theory of literature in terms of memory, representation, identity, ethical imperatives, and intertextual and intermedia relations.

GMAN 308 01 (12943) /CPLT560/GMAN559/LITR439

Rilke and Yeats

Carol Jacobs

Permission of instructor required. Readings in translation. Close readings of individual works by Rainer Maria Rilke and William Butler Yeats, with an eye to the theoretical implications of their writings.

GMAN 313 01 (12945) /LITR319

Eccentric Realism

Rainer Nägele

Reexamination of accepted concepts of “the real” through close readings of German nineteenth-century realist short stories and novellas by Keller, Stifter, and C. F. Meyer. Prerequisite: GMAN 150 or equivalent.

GMAN 380 01 (12543) /MUSI380/ER&M280

Music in Nazi Germany

Gundula Kreuzer

The interrelations between music and politics under the extreme conditions of a totalitarian regime. How the National Socialists sought to police all aspects of Germany’s musical life between 1933 and 1945 and why they often failed. Topics include aesthetic, political, and administrative prerequisites for the Nazis’ efforts; consequences of Nazism for musical culture during the Third Reich and beyond; and the vulnerability of music to ideological appropriation.

GMAN 408 01 (12792) /FILM357/GMAN602/LITR304/CPLT621

Books, Displays, and Systems Theory

Henry Sussman

A status report on the book as a medium in an age of cybernetic technology and virtual reality. The contentious no-man’s land between books and contemporary systems.

Fall 2014 Graduate Courses

GMAN 559 01 (10739) /CPLT560/LITR439/GMAN308

Rilke, Yeats

Carol Jacobs

Study of the works of two twentieth-century authors, Rainer Maria Rilke and William Butler Yeats, who, in very different ways, challenge conventional modes in which to think about the relationship between literature and what we tend to call reality.

GMAN 564 01 (10737) /LITR457/GMAN268/CPLT532/HUMS262

W.G. Sebald

Carol Jacobs

Close readings of the major works of W.G. Sebald along with texts of other authors whose writings play a direct or indirect role in these writings (Thomas Browne, Grimmelshausen, Celan). We explore the workings of these texts in relation to theory of literature in terms of memory, representation, identity, ethical imperatives, and intertextual and intermedial relations.

GMAN 602 01 (10743) /FILM357/LITR304/GMAN408/CPLT621

Books, Displays, and Systems Theory

Henry Sussman

A status report on the book as a medium in an age of cybernetic technology and virtual reality. The contentious no-man’s-land between books and contemporary systems.

GMAN 667 01 (10750) /CPLT711

Hölderlin

Rainer Nägele

There is something curious about the status of Hölderlin’s poetry in the context of European literature: only known to a small circle within his lifetime, Hölderlin’s poetry emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century as a major model for modern poetry. This seminar examines in close readings the particular shapes and forms of Hölderlin’s poetry that allowed it to become a major force in modernity. The seminar pays particular attention to the close connection between poetry and poetics in Hölderlin’s writings.

GMAN 704 01 (10950) /PHIL701

Schopenhauer: The World as Will and Representation

Karsten Harries

A careful reading, with special emphasis on the reception of Schopenhauer’s ideas.

Spring 2014Undergraduate Courses

GMST 184 01 (21675) /LITR215/HUMS230/GMAN311

The Age of Goethe

Kirk Wetters

Introduction to Germany’s “classical” period, from the 1790s to the 1830s, with attention to literature, philosophy, art, and culture. The close connection between literature and philosophy of the period; the theoretical foundations of European Romanticism and of later backlashes against it. Some attention to twentieth-century theory.

GMST 194 01 (21848) /LITR243/MUSI363/THST351
Cabaret

Lynda Paul                                       TTh 2.30-3.45

An exploration of cabaret as both a historical and a contemporary form of musical-literary-theatrical performance. Famous historical cabarets, with a focus on Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; films, plays, novels, and short stories based on the genre; cabaret songs and famous performers. Analysis of works by contemporary American cabaret artists. Students collaborate to write, produce, and perform three cabaret events.

GMST 212 01 (21772) /PHIL261/HUMS330
Realism, Idealism, and Romanticism

Paul Franks                                    MW 1.00-2.15

Investigation of the possibility of individual agency and absolute reason in modernity. Introduction to figures from classical German philosophy such as Kant, Goethe, Mendelssohn, Jacobi, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel, and Hegel. Themes include realism, idealism, romanticism, skepticism, nihilism, freedom, individuality, systematicity, and romantic irony.

GMST 222 01 (20344) /HUMS464
The Question of Evidence

Rudiger Campe                             T 3.30-5.20

Ideas of what constitutes evidence and their role in shaping difference, strife, and parallels between science and humanities in Western culture. Key texts and authors in the debate, from ancient rhetoric to current philosophy and history of science. Evidence as a concept and a practice; forms of evidence, including persuasion, inference, conviction, and visualization; contemporary debates on definitive arguments.

GMST 354 01 (20662) /LITR355/GMAN354/FILM459
The Films of Fassbinder, Herzog, and Haneke

Brigitte Peucker                            M 7.00-9.00p, T 3.30-5.20     

Close study of the films of R. W. Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and Michael Haneke. Questions of authorship, cultural politics, intermediality, and cinematic modernism. Readings and discussion in English.

Spring 2014 Graduate Courses

GMAN 560 01 (22588)
Knowing Fiction

Carol Jacobs                                 M 1.30-3.20   

Spring 2014 

Close readings of fictional works of the nineteenth–twenty-first century in order to meditate the theoretical implications of their implicit self-definitions and the import of such concepts as truth, fiction, self-consciousness, perception, science, and narrative. Principal readings include works by Hebel, Balzac, Goethe, Kleist, Poe, Sebald, and Kehlmann.

GMAN 570 01 (22799)
The Bildungsroman 1750–1800

Kirk Wetters                                  Th 1.30-3.20   

The origins of the German novel. Works covered include Wieland’s Agathon, Moritz’s Anton Reiser, Heinse’s Ardinghello, Nicolai’s The Life and Opinions of Sebaldus Nothanker, Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, and Hölderlin’s Hyperion.

GMAN 592 01 (22758)
Fassbinder, Herzog, Haneke

Brigitte Peucker                            T 3.30-5.20

Close study of the films of R.W. Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and Michael Haneke. Questions of authorship, cultural politics, intermediality, and cinematic modernism.

GMAN 618 01 (22800)
Psychoanalysis and Therapies

Henry Sussman                             M 3.30-5.20   

A broad survey extending from the philosophical backgrounds of psychoanalysis (Plato, Kant, Hegel, brief selections), with careful attention to the precedents that Freud established. The seminar extends to several of the formats and models for psychotherapeutic healing that this paradigm generated, among them Lacanian psychoanalysis, interpersonal psychiatry, object-relations, schizoanalysis, and cognitive therapy.

Print Course Textbooks

GMAN 622 01 (22801) /HIST653
Reading Modern German History

John Tooze                                    M 9.25-11.15

The aim of the course is to introduce students to key problems in modern German historiography from 1648 to the present. En route we address a series of more general problems in the writing of modern history that are exemplified by the German case. These include questions of the relationship of history to the critical project of the enlightenment in all its forms, the conceptualizations of the role of war and politics and the individual actor in history, questions of the state and revolution and the concept of crisis.

GMAN 637 01 (22577)
Faith and Knowledge 

Paul North                                      T 1.30-3.20

This course is oriented around two long essays with the same title, Hegel’s “Faith and Knowledge” of 1802 and Derrida’s of 1994. In addition to understanding the relationship of the two human capacities in each philosopher’s writing, we position the writings with respect to one another. With each essay we also read a close literary counterpoint that shifts the terms of the argument. In the case of Hegel, some poems by Hölderlin. In the case of Derrida, some fragments by Franz Kafka.

GMAN 650 01 (22586) /CPLT692
At the Threshold of Modernity: Heine and Baudelaire

Rainer Nagele                                W 1.30-3.20

An attempt to analyze the transition from Romantic poetry to modernism and the relative relation of the two most important lyrical poets in this transition through a close reading of their poetry. We also read Adorno’s essay “Die Wunde Heine.”oems by Hölderlin. In the case of Derrida, some fragments by Franz Kafka.

Fall 2013 Undergraduate Courses

GMST 186 01 (11679) /LITR226
German Modernism

Henry Sussman                                         MW 1.00-2.15

Introduction to the radical innovations of modernism as it was forged, received, and revised in German-speaking Europe from c. 1880 to 1945. Literary experiments in dissonance and multifaceted suggestion; strategies in criticism and elucidation demanded by modernist works. Some attention to parallels in painting and music.

GMST 201 01 (11279) /GMAN245
Postwar German Literature and Politics

Jason Groves                                              W 1.30-3.20

Introduction to the literature of East and West Germany from the 1950s to the present. Focus on the relationships between literature, history, and politics. Readings include works by Paul Celan, Heinrich Böll, Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, Christa Wolf, and W. G. Sebald.

GMST 210 01 (11191) /GMAN274 
Revolutionary German and Soviet Theater

Rainer Nagele, Joshua Alvizu                   T 3.30-5.20

Theater as revolutionary process in German and Soviet plays and in theoretical and dramaturgical texts of the 1920s and early 1930s. Focus on the writings of Bertolt Brecht and Sergei Tretyakov, with some attention to works by Benjamin, Shklovsky, Eisenstein, and Meyerhold. Brief examination of set designs; musical excerpts from Hans Eisler.

GMST 226 01 (14065) /LITR470/GMAN226
Faust

Jan Hagens

The development of the Faust motif through time, from the legend’s origins in the Renaissance-Reformation period to twentieth-century variations. Readings from the English adaptation of the original German chapbook, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Goethe’s Faust (Part I), and Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus; screenings of films with a Faustian theme.

GMST 294 01 (10330) /LITR331/GMAN277/HUMS467/ENGL430
Nietzsche and Emerson

Paul North, Paul Grimstad                       Th 1.30-3.20  

Comparative introduction to the central writings of Nietzsche and Emerson, with reference to the historical relationship between the two men. Overlap and antagonism on themes such as power, fate, nature, language, and writing; concepts that underwent radical shifts in each thinker’s work; ways in which philosophical style and ideas of style shaped and complicated the writers’ thinking.

GMST 361 01 (11159) /GMAN361/HUMS255
Visions of the End and Representations of Transcendence

Kirk Wetters                                              T 3.30-5.20    

The end as a formal feature of narrative and temporal forms, and as an opening to an uncertain beyond. The complex relation between finality and transcendence in Goethe’s Faust II, Mahler’s symphonic works, twentieth-century German and Austrian literature (Broch, Ransmayr, Sebald), and Beckett’s Endgame.

GMST 369 01 (10344)/ CPLT628/GMAN685/RLST322/JDST737/LITR327/HUMS410/RLST682/GMAN388

Translating the Sacred

Hindy Najman, Kirk Wetters                   M 1.30-3.20

Historical dynamics of cultural transfer, translation, reinterpretation of religious revelations, and foundational narratives from antiquity to modernity. Readings from ancient scripture, modern literary works, and theoretical reflections.

GMST 378 01 (11192) /HUMS226/LITR307

Walter Benjamin and the Modernization of Nineteenth-Century Paris

Henry Sussman                                        MW 4.00-5.15

The radical modernization of Paris under the Second Empire (1851–70) as seen through the eyes of Walter Benjamin. Focus on Benjamin’s Arcades Project, a compendium that charted developments such as Parisian mass transit and streamlined traffic, the construction of apartment houses, and the dissemination of mass media. Readings from other literary texts on the same events include works by Balzac, Zola, and Aragon.

GMST 381 01 (11860) /PHIL204

Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason

Paul Franks                                               MW 11.35-12.25         1 HTBA

An examination of the metaphysical and epistemological doctrines of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.

GMAN 162 01
Contemporary German Culture

Marion Gehlker                                       TTh 2.30-3.45             Skills L5

No regular final examination

Analysis and discussion of current social and cultural trends. Topics drawn from newspapers, films, TV series, cabaret, short literary texts, and talks. Focus on oral and written production to improve upper-level linguistic skills.

GMAN 173 01 (11648)
Introduction to German Lyric Poetry

Jan Van Treeck                                      MW 1.00-2.15

The German lyric tradition, including classic works by Goethe, Schiller, Hölderlin, Eichendorff, Heine, Mörike, Droste-Hülshoff, Rilke, George, Brecht, Trakl, Celan, Bachmann, and Jandl. Attention to the German Lied (art song). Development of advanced reading, writing, speaking, and translation skills.

GMAN 226 01 (14064) /LITR470/GMST226

Faust, Jan Hagens                               TTh 11.35-12.50        

The development of the Faust motif through time, from the legend’s origins in the Renaissance-Reformation period to twentieth-century variations. Readings from the English adaptation of the original German chapbook, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Goethe’s Faust (Part I), and Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus; screenings of films with a Faustian theme.

GMAN 245 01 (11280) /GMST201

Postwar German Literature and Politics

Jason Groves                                        W 1.30-3.20   

Introduction to the literature of East and West Germany from the 1950s to the present. Focus on the relationships between literature, history, and politics. Readings include works by Paul Celan, Heinrich Böll, Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, Christa Wolf, and W. G. Sebald.

GMAN 274 01 (11190) /GMST210
Revolutionary German and Soviet Theater

Rainer Nagele, Joshua Alvizu            T 3.30-5.20     

Theater as revolutionary process in German and Soviet plays and in theoretical and dramaturgical texts of the 1920s and early 1930s. Focus on the writings of Bertolt Brecht and Sergei Tretyakov, with some attention to works by Benjamin, Shklovsky, Eisenstein, and Meyerhold. Brief examination of set designs; musical excerpts from Hans Eisler.

GMAN 277 01 (10329) /GMST294/LITR331/HUMS467/ENGL430
Nietzsche and Emerson

Paul North, Paul Grimstad                 Th 1.30-3.20

Comparative introduction to the central writings of Nietzsche and Emerson, with reference to the historical relationship between the two men. Overlap and antagonism on themes such as power, fate, nature, language, and writing; concepts that underwent radical shifts in each thinker’s work; ways in which philosophical style and ideas of style shaped and complicated the writers’ thinking.

GMAN 361 01 (11618) /HUMS255/GMST361
Visions of the End and Representations of Transcendence

Kirk Wetters                                         T 3.30-5.20

The end as a formal feature of narrative and temporal forms, and as an opening to an uncertain beyond. The complex relation between finality and transcendence in Goethe’s Faust II, Mahler’s symphonic works, twentieth-century German and Austrian literature (Broch, Ransmayr, Sebald), and Beckett’s Endgame.

GMAN 388 01 (10343) /CPLT628/GMAN685/GMST369/RLST322/JDST737/LITR327/HUMS410/RLST682
Translating the Sacred

Hindy Najman, Kirk Wetters             M 1.30-3.20   

Historical dynamics of cultural transfer, translation, reinterpretation of religious revelations, and foundational narratives from antiquity to modernity. Readings from ancient scripture, modern literary works, and theoretical reflections.

Fall 2013 Graduate Courses

GMAN 635  
Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption

Paul North                                            T 1.30-3.20

In this course we make a careful study of this difficult text, which attempts to reorient modern philosophy according to renovated theological categories. Alongside it, we read texts and excerpts by Hegel, Hermann Cohen, Kierkegaard, and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy that informed its writing. 

GMAN 645     
Benjamin’s Arcades: The Modernization of Nineteenth-Century Paris

Henry Sussman                                  W 3.30-5.20

The radical modernization of Paris under the Second Empire (1851–70) was, for Walter Benjamin, Europe’s key moment in preparation for the innovations and horrors of twentieth-century life. His monumental Arcades Project is a compendium of materials, mostly by others and not unlike a Web site, chronicling such developments as Parisian mass transit and streamlined traffic, the construction of apartment houses, and the dissemination of mass media over this period. Examining this work closely serves as a base camp to some of the key literary artifacts showcasing the same events (Balzac, Zola, Aragon), and to focused theoretical investigations into twentieth-century media and urbanization. Course work segues out from the nexus of historical, literary, architectural, media, demographic, and theoretical concerns assembled unforgettably by Benjamin.

GMAN 685  
Translating the Sacred 

Kirk Wetters, Hindy Najman          M 1.30-3.20

The transformation of ancient and modern textual traditions, with particular focus on the effects of translation and the historical dynamics of cultural transfer, appropriation, reception, and reinterpretation. Readings include canonical and noncanonical scriptural sources (Deuteronomy, Jeremiah, Jubilee, Temple Scroll, 4 Ezra, Epistle to the Hebrews, Revelation, Midrash selections from Sifrei Devarim, Eichah Rabbah, Bereshit Rabbah); modern literary authors (Petrarch, Goethe, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Borges); theoretical and philosophical works (Philo of Alexandria, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Scholem, Foucault, Szondi)

GMAN 701 01 (12537) /CPLT710
Hermeneutics and/or Deconstruction

Rainer Nagele                                   W 1.30-3.20   

Fall 2013 

A close reading of selected texts of the hermeneutical tradition from the eighteenth to the twentieth century and readings of relevant texts from Derrida and Paul de Man.

Spring 2013 Undergraduate Courses

GMST 182 01 (22378) /LITR346/HUMS400
Legacies of the Enlightenment

Kirk Wetters                                 TTh 11.35-12.50  WLH 006   

Kant’s question “What is Enlightenment?” traced through literature, philosophy, theory, and the arts. Classic theories through the mid-twentieth century from works by Rousseau, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Spengler, Schmitt, Weber, Adorno, Heidegger, Habermas, Foucault, and Derrida. Theoretical work is paired with literature, art, and film.

GMST 255 01 (24589) /LITR301/HUMS275
Walking in Literature

Jason Groves                               M 3.30-5.20 WLH 013

Walking as a central figure for and activity in literature from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century. The promenade and the bourgeois subject; Romantic wandering; Doppelgänger; translation; critiques of progress; slowness; the city and the fugitive. Readings from the works of Kant, Rousseau, Schiller, Goethe, Thoreau, Kafka, Benjamin, Woolf, de Certeau, and Sebald.

GMST 285 01 (22574) /GMAN612/GMAN285/HUMS303
Science and Literature in Modernism

Rudiger Campe                           W 3.30-5.20  HGS 303

Modernist writing as it developed in science and in literature from 1880 to 1930, with emphasis on Austrian and German works from the turn of the century. Strategies of observing, describing, writing, and narrating.

GMST 293 01 (22431) /HUMS316/GMAN630
Illegitimacy

Kirk Wetters                               Th 3.30-5.20  HGS 303

Theoretical exploration of legitimacy as a fundamental historical, legal, and political concept; works by Weber, Schmitt, Blumenberg, and Luhmann. Literary readings on illegitimacy in the specific sense “born out of wedlock”; authors include Shakespeare, Goethe, Kleist, Dostoevsky, and Gide.

GMST 350 01 (22278) /GMAN350/LITR247
Kafka’s K’s

Rainer Nagele                            Th 1.30-3.20 HGS 303

Study of two Kafka novels in which the hero is named only by the letter K. Critique of autobiographical implications; the reduction to the initial as a radical translation of any life into the literary.

Spring 2013 Graduate Courses

GMAN 559 01 (20661) /CPLT560/LITR439/GMAN308
Rilke and Yeats

Carol Jacobs                              M 1.30-3.20 CO493 102

Reading and discussion of the works of Rainer Maria Rilke and William Butler Yeats.

GMAN 612 01 (21136) /GMAN285/HUMS303/GMST285
Science and Literature in Modernism

Rudiger Campe                        W 3.30-5.20 HGS 303

The course explores modernist writing as codeveloped in science and literature between 1880 and 1930. Starting from Zola’s notion of the “experimental novel,” strategies of writing and narrating in both science and literature are discussed, including the questions of case study, metaphor and concept, protocol sentence, and automatic writing. Literary authors include Zola, Schnitzler, Döblin, Musil, Benn, Hofmannsthal, Breton, Gertrude Stein; scientific authors are Claude Bernard, Freud, Mach, Carnap, William James.

GMAN 626 01 (21137) /HIST650
Theories of History in Germany from Benjamin to Kluge and Negt

Paul North, John Tooze          T 1.30-3.20  HGS 303

Theories and philosophies of history in Germany from the interwar period to the late twentieth century, from Walter Benjamin to the renegades of the Frankfurt School, Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt. This is a reading seminar based on the original texts with a limited amount of secondary historiography and commentary.

GMAN 630 01 (21139) /GMST293/HUMS316
Illegitimacy

Kirk Wetters                            Th 3.30-5.20  HGS 303

Theoretical exploration of legitimacy as a fundamental historical, legal, and political concept; authors include Weber, Schmitt, Blumenberg, Luhmann. This conceptual study is combined with literary readings on illegitimacy in the specific sense of “born out of wedlock”; main authors are Shakespeare, Goethe, Kleist, Dostoevsky, and Gide.

GMAN 636 01 (20699) /FILM410/CPLT902/FILM718/GMAN406/LITR350
Theatricality in Film

Brigitte Peucker                    M 7.00-9.00p, T 3.30-5.20 WHC B-20

Examination of the multiple implications of theatricality in and for the cinema. Theatricality as excess; the appropriation of theatrical modes for film; theatricality as modernist self-reflexivity; performance and the relation of theatricality to subjectivity (performing the self); ritual and reenactment in film; theatricality and the real; the material image.

GMAN 663 01 (20669) /CPLT649
Desire of Knowledge/Knowledge of Desire

Rainer Nagele                       W 1.30-3.20 HGS 303

The relationship between knowledge and desire is analyzed through close readings of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannos, Goethe’s Faust, and Kafka’s “Forschungen eines Hundes.”

Fall 2012 Undergraduate Courses

GMST 183 01 (12930) /HUMS268/LITR336
Childhood and Memory in Modern Literature

Henry Sussman                 Th 11.35-12.50 HGS 401   

The motif of childhood examined through memoirs, literary treatments, philosophical meditations, principles of psychoanalysis, and research on memory. Authors include Benjamin, Proust, Hoffmann, Keller, Woolf, Musil, Rousseau, Bergson, Freud, Bartlett, and Neisser.

GMST 226 01 (12785) /LITR470/GMAN226
Faust

Jan Hagens                         TTh 11.35-12.50 CO451 B-04

The development of the Faust motif through time, from the legend’s origins in the Renaissance-Reformation period to twentieth-century variations. Readings from the English adaptation of the original German chapbook, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Goethe’s Faust (Part I), and Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus; screenings of films with a Faustian theme.

GMST 315 01 (12223) /LITR431/CPLT651/HUMS368/GMAN647/PHIL606
Systems and Their Theory

Henry Sussman                M 3.30-5.20 WLH 203          

Conceptual systems that have, since the outset of modernity, furnished a format and platform for rigorous thinking at the same time that they have imposed on language the attributes of self-reflexivity, consistency, repetition, purity, and dependability. Texts by Kant, Hegel, Bergson, Kafka, Proust, and Borges.

GMST 319 01 (13096) /LITR210/RUSS325
Modernist Berlin, Petersburg, and Moscow

Katerina Clark, Roman Utkin        Th 1.30-3.20 WALL81 101   

A comparative exploration of Soviet Russian, Weimar German, and Russian émigré modes of modernism as produced in three major European cities between 1917 and 1933. Geographical and subjective space, urban modernity, childhood, fashion, gender, ethnicity, power, and avant-garde experimentation in literature, film, photography, architecture, and music.

GMST 355 01 (12353) /GMAN562/CPLT630/HUMS365
The Concept of Time

Paul North                           T 1.30-3.20 HGS 303

The historical formation of the concept of time, a fundamental idea in the humanities and sciences. The benefits and pitfalls of the specifically modern plan to ground thought and being in a theory of time. Texts in German intellectual history by Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, and Einstein, with reference to Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time.

GMST 361 01 (12868) /GMAN361/HUMS255
Visions of the End and Representations of Transcendence

Kirk Wetters                      M 1.30-3.20 WLH 006          

The end as a formal feature of narrative and temporal forms, and as an opening to an uncertain beyond. The complex relation between finality and transcendence in Goethe’s Faust II, Mahler’s symphonic works, twentieth-century German and Austrian literature (Broch, Ransmayr, Sebald), and Beckett’s Endgame.

GMST 365 01 (12896) /LITR468/HUMS261/GMAN619
The Question of Form

Carol Jacobs                    Th 1.30-3.20 WHC B-02       

The concept of art in relation to form and deformation. The Platonic tradition in The Republic and echoed in twentieth-century philosophy (Cassirer and Heidegger), modern literature (Keats, Hardy, Kleist, Poe, Kafka), and film (Godard, Egoyan, Dreyer, Sun Zhou, Wong Kar Wai).

Fall 2012 Graduate Courses

GMAN 562 01 (10559) /CPLT630/HUMS365/GMST355
The Concept of Time

Paul North                       T 1.30-3.20 HGS 303

The historical formation of the concept of time, a fundamental idea in the humanities and sciences. The benefits and pitfalls of the specifically modern plan to ground thought and being in a theory of time. Texts in German intellectual history by Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, and Einstein, with reference to Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time.

GMAN 605 01 (10554) /CPLT517
Interpretation and Authority

Carol Jacobs                   M 1.30-3.20 WLH 013          

Close readings of works on problems of authority and interpretation by Sigmund Freud, Roland Barthes, Paul de Man, and Walter Benjamin. Exploration of their writing as a performance that questions simplistic notions of truth. Consideration of the problem of how to interpret texts that unsettle the very nature of interpretation.

GMAN 614 01 (10569) /CPLT786
Literature and the Humanities

Rudiger Campe              T 3.30-5.20 HGS 303

The course discusses the place of literature and literary reading with regard to the ensemble of the humanities. Rather than addressing “literary theory,” the focus is on the epistemology of literature and literary criticism and their significance in and for the humanities. Main readings are Giambattista Vico (New Science), Friedrich Schlegel (Dialogue on Poetry), Wilhelm Dilthey (Introduction to the Human Sciences), and Maurice Blanchot and Michel Foucault (“ontology of literature”).

GMAN 619 01 (10857) /LITR468/HUMS261/GMST365
The Question of Form

Carol Jacobs                   Th 1.30-3.20 WHC B-02       

The concept of art in relation to form and deformation. The Platonic tradition in The Republic and echoed in twentieth-century philosophy (Heidegger), modern literature (Keats, Hardy, Kleist, Poe, Kafka), and film (Godard, Egoyan, Dreyer, Sun Zhou, and Wong Kar-Wai).

GMAN 624 01 (10861) /GMAN348/HUMS227
Overcoming Classicism

Kirk Wetters                   Th 3.30-5.20 HGS 303

Modern literature’s dependencies on and independence from the inherited forms of classical antiquity are explored in specific case studies, Goethe’s “Orphic Primal Words” and Hölderlin’s “Pindar Fragments.” This central focus is discussed in the context of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century conceptions of artistic modernity (Winckelmann, Schiller, Friedrich Schlegel) and reflected in twentieth-century literary critical and philosophical discourses (Heidegger, Szondi, and Lacoue-Labarthe).

GMAN 647 01 (10564) /LITR431/GMST315/CPLT651/HUMS368/PHIL606
Systems and Their Theory

Henry Sussman             M 3.30-5.20 WLH 203          

This course spans the developments between two of the most original and still-telling early system-makers, Kant and Hegel, and some important twentieth-century fiction writers, among them Kafka, Proust, Borges, Calvino, and Pynchon, whose works built and played upon the architecture of systems. We read a number of scholars and scientists who have thought about the systematic dimensions of culture and life: Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind; Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life; Anthony Wilden, System and Structure; and James Gleick, Chaos. Seminars are divided between elucidations of systematic pictures of the world and specific instances from criticism, literature, and other art forms. We work to discern the follow-through between conceptual systems and the systematic dimensions of our everyday lives, whether legal, institutional, or familial.

GMAN 680 01 (10864) /MUSI847/DRAM456
Wagner in and on Production

Gundula Kreuzer           T 9.25-11.15 STOECK 313   

An exploration of Wagner’s ideas of the Gesamtkunstwerk and their role in the theory and history of opera since the mid-nineteenth century. The seminar contextualizes Wagner’s theories of staging and his attempts at creating a lasting, “correct” production within contemporary theatrical practices and discusses their consequences for both historical and modern stagings, with a special focus on Tannhäuser, the Ring cycle, and (possibly) Parsifal. We broach such methodological issues as theories and analyses of performance, multimedia, and the operatic work; approaches to and reconstructions of historical stagings; and the increasing mediatization of opera. Ultimately, the seminar seeks to understand opera more broadly in its liminal state between fixity and ephemerality.

Spring 2012 Undergraduate Courses

GMST 185 01 (21294) /HUMS344/LITR204
Ideology, Religion, and Revolution in German Thought

Henry Sussman             TTh 1.00-2.15 YK220 001

Crosscurrents of conservatism and radicality in German literature and culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Contributions to the enterprise of systems theory and systems critique by Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, and Brecht. Alternatives for questioning and undermining the systematic aspirations of the Western tradition.

GMST 212 01 (22409) /MGRK212/HUMS277/LITR328
Folktales and Fairy Tales

Maria Kaliambou            T 2.30-4.20 WLH 210           

History of the folktale from the late seventeenth through the late twentieth centuries. Basic concepts, terminology, and interpretations of folktales, with some attention to twentieth-century theoretical approaches. Performance and audience, storytellers, and gender-related distinctions. Interconnections between oral and written traditions in narratives from western Europe and Greece.

GMST 294 01 (22730) /GMAN645/HUMS272
Confidence Games: Fakes, Frauds, and Counterfeits

Kirk Wetters                   Th 3.30-5.20 WLH 203

The tradition of the con artist in literature and film, from eighteenth-century German texts of Goethe and Schiller to Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder. Works by Orson Welles, Clifford Irving, Melville, Thomas Mann, André Gide, and Dostoevsky. Questions of authenticity, authorship, and authority.

GMST 333 01 (21746) /GMAN614/GMAN222
Kleist and the Idea of the Present

Rudiger Campe              T 3.30-5.20 WLH 004           

Comprehensive introduction to Kleist’s narrative prose, theater, and journalism. Kleist’s unique modernity, his invention of everyday topicality (in journalism), and his fascination with the concept of the present and the present moment (in poetic experimentation and politics).

Spring 2012 Graduate Courses

GMAN 585 01 (25264) /GMAN336/CPLT585
Intro to Middle HighGerman Lit

William Whobrey            TTh 11.35-12.50 STOECK 211

GMAN 614 01 (21085) /GMST333/GMAN222
Kleist’s Here and Now

Rudiger Campe               T 3.30-5.20 WLH 004           

The course provides a comprehensive introduction to the work of the German Romantic writer Heinrich von Kleist. We read major instances of his narrative prose, his dramatic work, and his journalism. Particular attention is given to Kleist’s fascination with the immediate presence of “Here and Now”: this fascination occurs as well in what we can call the invention of modern journalism (Berliner Abendblätter) as in his most radical literary experiments.

GMAN 645 01 (21086) /GMST294/HUMS272
Fakes

Kirk Wetters                 Th 3.30-5.20 WLH 203

Starting from Orson Welles’s “F for Fake,” which articulates the main questions of the course, we examine some of Welles’s immediate sources of inspiration: Clifford Irving (including the recent film about his forged biography of Howard Hughes, The Hoax) and the art forger Elmyr de Hory. From there we look back at the literary tradition of the con artist: eighteenth-century German texts (particularly Goethe and Schiller) inspired by the figure of Cagliostro, Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man, Thomas Mann’s Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man, and André Gide’s The Counterfeiters. To conclude the seminar, the class collectively chooses an additional contemporary con (perhaps James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces) to investigate in detail. The final meetings are devoted to the Grand Inquisitor scene from Dostoevski’s Brothers Karamazov and Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder.

GMAN 648 01 (20782) /CPLT648
Repetition

Rainer Nagele             W 1.30-3.20 HGS 303

Repetition emerges in the nineteenth century as a particular preoccupation. We concentrate on some specific philosophical and theoretical texts: Karl Marx (the Eighteenth Brumaire), Kirkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud. But we also discuss some of the ramifications of repetition in poetry, literature, and rhetoric (rhythm, rhyme, refrain, and literary motifs).

GMAN 662 01 (21087)
Baroque Theater: The Stage and the Text

Rudiger Campe           Th 1.30-3.20 WLH 115         

Focusing on the German Baroque tragic drama (Gryphius, Lohenstein), we study also Spanish and Italian works of the period (Monteverdi, Calderón). Walter Benjamin’s Origin of the German Tragic Drama (Trauerspiel) is discussed with reference to political theory, allegory, and the emblem. The course is designed as a general introduction to the Baroque, including more recent work such as Deleuze, Buci-Glucksmann, and others.

Fall 2011 Undergraduate Courses

GMST 050 01 (12380) /FILM092
Spectatorship and Visual Culture

Brigitte Peucker          TTh 11.35-12.50 WALL81 301

The position of the Western spectator from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries in a variety of paradigmatic situations. Spectatorship in the contexts of landscape, painting, the city, and film. Looking and the imagination; the relation of the represented to the real; vision and the senses; the nature and politics of looking.

GMST 182 01 (12192) /LITR346/HUMS400
Legacies of the Enlightenment

Kirk Wetters                MW 9.00-10.15 LORIA 259 

Kant’s question “What is Enlightenment?” traced through literature, philosophy, theory, and the arts. Classic theories through the mid-twentieth century include works by Marx, Nietzsche, Schmitt, Lukács, Weber, Benjamin, Adorno, Arendt, Habermas, Foucault, and Koselleck. Theoretical work is paired with literature, art, and film, starting with classics by Lessing, Mozart, Goethe, Schiller, Kleist, Wagner, Kafka, and Brecht.

GMST 265 01 (13872) /FILM418/LITR356/GMAN320/HUMS207
Scandinavian Cinema

Katie Trumpener, Soeren Forsberg             T 6.00-10.00p, W 1.30-3.20 LORIA 259      

Contemporary Scandinavian genre and art films examined in relation to earlier high points of Scandinavian cinema. The concepts of regional cinema and of regional audience and market; ways in which Scandinavian cinema reflects shared cultural assumptions; differences between national and authorial styles.

GMST 308 01 (12214) /LITR466/GMAN268/GMAN564/HUMS262
W. G. Sebald

Carol Jacobs               M 1.30-3.20 WALL81 101

Close readings of the major works of W. G. Sebald along with texts of other authors who played a direct role in these writings, including Thomas Browne, Grimmelshausen, Kafka, and Heshel. Texts in relation to theory of literature in terms of memory, representation, identity, ethical imperatives, and intertextual and intermedia relations.

GMST 336 01 (11592) /LITR319/GMAN311
German Eccentric Realism

Rainer Nagele             Th 1.30-3.20 WHC B-03       

Reexamination of accepted concepts of “the real” through close readings of German nineteenth-century realist short stories and novellas by Keller, Stifter, and C. F. Meyer.

GMST 354 01 (15413) /LITR355/GMAN592/GMAN354/FILM459/FILM765
The Films of Fassbinder, Herzog, and Haneke

Brigitte Peucker          M 7.00-9.00p, T 3.30-5.20 WHC B-20

Close study of the films of R. W. Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and Michael Haneke. Questions of authorship, cultural politics, intermediality, and cinematic modernism. Readings and discussion in English.

GMST 364 01 (12211) /LITR304
Books, Displays, and Systems Theory

Henry Sussman            TTh 1.00-2.15      1 HTBA WHC B-02

No regular final examination

Areas Hu

Permission of instructor required

Meets during reading period

A status report on the book as a medium in an age of cybernetic technology and virtual reality. The contentious no-man’’s land between books and contemporary systems.

 

Spring 2011 Undergraduate Courses

GMST 181 01 (21505) /HUMS320
Ideology, Revolution, Religion

Paul North                MW 11.35-12.50 WLH 013 

The tension between radicality and conservatism that characterized German culture from the Enlightenment to World War II. Introduction to the philosophical speculation, sociological critique, psychological theory, and literary and theatrical productions that both tried to resolve and helped to maintain this tension. Readings from the works of Goethe, Kant, Kleist, Marx, Nietzsche, Kafka, and Freud.

 

GMST 200 01 (22545) /LITR211/HUMS293
Roots of Modernity

R. Howard Bloch, Rudiger Campe             TTh 9.00-10.15 WHC 208

Study of principal literary, visual, and musical works, artistic movements, social thought, and scientific and technological developments from the last decades of the nineteenth century to the Great War.

GMST 351 01 (22660) /LITR224/GMAN661/CPLT803/GMAN351
Hölderlin, Kafka, Benjamin

Rainer Nagele           Th 1.30-3.20 HGS 303

The relationship between life and literature. Readings include literary texts and theoretical reflections by Hölderlin, Kafka, and Benjamin.

Spring 2011 Graduate Courses

GMAN 160 01 (22211)
German Culture, History, and Politics in Text and Film

Marion Gehlker          MW 11.35-12.50 WLH 202  

An advanced language course focusing on improving upper-level language skills through the discussion of selected aspects of German culture, politics, and history in literary and nonliterary texts and film. Topics include the Weimar Republic, youth movements, social democracy, Vergangenheitsbewältigung, and postwar developments. Frequent oral and written assignments; emphasis on vocabulary building.

GMAN 172 01 (22161)
Introduction to German Theater

Jason Groves            TTh 11.35-12.50 WLH 009

An advanced language course that addresses key authors and works of the German theatrical tradition. Refinement of skills in reading comprehension, writing, and speaking. Authors include Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Kleist, Büchner, Hebbel, Wedekind, Brecht, and Müller.

Courses in this group are open to students who have successfully completed GMAN 150a or b or the equivalent. Conducted in German with readings in German, unless otherwise indicated.

GMAN 192 01 (21588) /LITR467
The Prose Labyrinth

Howard Stern           MW 4.00-5.15 WLH 112

Short prose (prismatic, encyclopedic, labyrinthine) considered as a characteristic genre of twentieth-century literature. Works by Benjamin, Shklovsky, Ponge, Queneau, Calvino, and Cortázar. All readings available in English.

GMST 351 01 (22660) /LITR224/GMAN661/CPLT803/GMAN351
Hölderlin, Kafka, Benjamin

Rainer Nagele          Th 1.30-3.20 HGS 303

The relationship between life and literature. Readings include literary texts and theoretical reflections by Hölderlin, Kafka, and Benjamin.

GMAN 651 01 (20778) /PLSC309/CPLT703/PHIL654/PLSC583/PHIL454
Contemporary Critical Theory: Habermas and Beyond

Seyla Benhabib        W1.30-3.20 RKZ 202

Critical theory after Jürgen Habermas’s “theory of communicative action” faces the challenges of a postnational society; the rise of a global worldwide net; increasing multiculturalism; the end of secularism; and a worldwide economic crisis. The course examines Habermas’s response as well as that of the third generation of critical theorists to these issues.

GMAN 661 01 (20782) /LITR224/CPLT803/GMST351/GMAN351
Hölderlin, Kafka, Benjamin

Rainer Nagele           Th 1.30-3.20 HGS 303

The seminar addresses the question of the relationship of (auto-)biography and literature based on texts by Hölderlin and his undermining of the romantic concept of literature as subjective expression; Kafka’s notebooks, in which literary texts and diary entries are curiously intertwined; and finally Benjamin’s autobiographical texts (Berliner Kindheit) as well as his essays on Kafka and Proust. Discussion in English; reading knowledge of German is strongly encouraged.

GMAN 674 01 (20990)
Designing Weimar Classicism

Rudiger Campe          M 1.30-3.20 WLH 115

The course explores the development of Weimar classicism in Germany in the era of European Romanticism and the French Revolution. Schiller’s and Goethe’s theoretical and poetic works between 1790 and 1805 unfold a new thinking of form in aesthetics, epistemology, and political theory. Works to be closely read include Schiller’s Aesthetic Education of Mankind, Goethe’s Conversations of German Refugees, Schiller’s Bride of Messina, Goethe’s Iphigenia, Schiller’s poetry at the time of The Gods of Greece, and Goethe’s Sonnets. Readings in German.