Courses Fall 2017

Undergraduate Courses Fall 2017

(jump to graduate courses)

GMAN 162

Pre-1945 German Culture and History

Marion Gehlker

An advanced language course focusing on improving upper-level written and oral language skills through the discussion of selected aspects of pre-1945 German culture, politics, and history in literary and nonliterary texts, films, and the arts. Topics include the Kaiserreich, the Weimar Republic, Expressionist art and film, youth movements, social democracy, and Nazi Germany. Emphasis on vocabulary building through frequent oral and written assignments. TTH 11:35-12:50

GMAN 177

Introduction to German Literature and Film

Florian Fuchs

Study of key films and works of the German 20th century around problems of the state, with a focus on the development of advanced reading comprehension, writing, and speaking skills. Films from the Weimar period to recent Berlin School realism by directors Wiene, Lang, Kluge, Haneke, Petzold, and Farocki. Readings from short stories, novellas, and essays by Kafka, Kracauer, Arendt, Böll, Wolf, Schlögel, and Passig. MW 9:00-10:15

GMAN 211 / HUMS 314 / PHIL 412 / LITR 441

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. TH 1:30-3:20

GMAN 214 / FREN 270

Mad Poets of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century

Thomas Connolly

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French (and some German) poetry explored through the lives and works of poets whose ways of behaving, creating, and perceiving the world might be described as insane. Authors include Hölderlin, Nerval, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmé, Lautréamont, Apollinaire, Breton, Artaud, and Celan. MW 11:35-12:25

GMAN 227 / CPLT 699 / LITR 330 / PHIL 602 / PHIL 402

Heidegger’s Being and Time

Martin Hägglund

Systematic, chapter by chapter study of Heidegger’s Being and Time, arguably the most important work of philosophy in the twentieth-century. All major themes addressed in detail, with particular emphasis on care, time, death, and the meaning of being.

GMAN 305 / HUMS 137

Heroic legends of medieval northern Europe

Jóhanna Fridriksdottir

Exploration of heroic legends from medieval England, Scandinavia, and Germany, narrating stories about brave warriors and unyielding heroines; the epic battles, fates, and love triangles of Germanic heroic tradition across time and countries. Thematics concerns include heroism, ethics and honor codes, the tension between family and marital ties, emotions, normative gender roles, and monstrosity. TTH 1:00-2:15

GMAN 318 / PLSC 323 / EP&E 264 / PHIL 323

Exile, Statelessness, Migration

Seyla Benhabib

An interdisciplinary examination of exile, statelessness, and migration. Consideration of the meaning of exile as opposed to migration or banishment; whether a stateless person is also in exile, how the theme of exile is rooted in the Jewish condition of “Galut;” and how these conditions throw light on democratic societies. Authors include Hannah Arendt, Judith Shklar, Judith Butler, and contemporary authors such as Linda Zerilli and Bonnie Honig.

GMAN 354 / FILM 459 / FILM 765 / GMAN 592 / LITR 355

The Films of Fassbinder, Herzog, and Haneke

Brigitte Peucker

Examination of representative films by three major German language auteurs. Topics include cinema’s investment in painting and theatricality, its relation to gendered, imaginary, and abject bodies and to the specificities of time and place; the fictions of the self that these auteurs construct; and how questions of identity intersect with ideology and the political. T 1:30-3:20

GMAN 359 / LITR 219

Law and Literature in Kleist, Kafka, and Arendt

Katrin Truestedt

This course introduces the field of “law and literature” with a focus on German authors that have played an important role in its constitution. We will not only study the depiction of legal topics in literary texts (Law in Literature), or the textuality of legal forms (Law as Literature), but uncover a deeper structural affinity of law and literature as it is reflected in both literary and legal genres. Texts by Kleist, Kafka, Arendt, Cover, Dworkin, Derrida, Agamben, Vismann. W 1:30-3:20

GMAN 374 / GMAN 645 / CPLT 589 / LITR 307

Walter Benjamin and the Modernization of Nineteenth-Century Paris

Henry Sussman

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. T 3:30-5:20

GMAN 381 / PHIL 204

Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason

Paul Franks

An examination of the metaphysical and epistemological doctrines of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. MW 9-10:15

GMAN 408 / GMAN 602 / LITR 304 / FILM 357

Books, Displays, 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. MW 4-5:15

GMAN 411 / GMAN 713 / HUMS 342 / ER&M / JDST / LITR 406 / CPLT 587

World Literature

Kirk Wetters; Hannan Hever

The concept of world literature, from its origins in eighteenth-century cosmopolitanism represented by Herder and Goethe up to contemporary critical debates (Apter, Casanova, Cheah, Damrosch, Dharwadker, I. Hesse, Moretti, Mufti, Pollock, Said, Spivak). World literature in relation to national literature, German-language, and Jewish literature; translation, untranslatability, the effect of markets, diaspora, politics. Literary critical readings supplemented by exemplary literary texts in multiple genres. Student contributions based on individual linguistic backgrounds. W 3:30-4:20

GMAN 421 / HUMS 459

Reports from Non-Human Worlds

Paul North

Contemporary and historical concepts of the nonhuman milieu, nature. Philosophical texts by Lucretius, Spinoza, and Schelling; literary texts by Wordsworth, Kafka, and Philip K. Dick; scientific texts by Galileo, Lyell, Darwin; and texts in the new science of the nonhuman by Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, and Timothy Morton. M 1:30-3:20

Graduate Courses Fall 2017

GMAN 592 / GMAN 354 / FILM 459 / FILM 765 / LITR 355

The Films of Fassbinder, Herzog, and Haneke

Brigitte Peucker

Examination of representative films by three major German language auteurs. Topics include cinema’s investment in painting and theatricality, its relation to gendered, imaginary, and abject bodies and to the specificities of time and place; the fictions of the self that these auteurs construct; and how questions of identity intersect with ideology and the political. T 1:30-3:20

GMAN 602 / GMAN 408 / LITR 304 / FILM 357

Books, Displays, 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. MW 4-5:15

GMAN 617 / CPLT 904 / FREN 875

Psychoanalysis: Key Concepts and their circulation among the disciplines

Moira Frandinger

GMAN 645 / GMAN 374 / CPLT 589 / LITR 307

Walter Benjamin and the Modernization of Nineteenth-Century Paris

Henry Sussman

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. T 3:30-5:20

GMAN 663 / CPLT 561

Performance and Postdramatic Theater

Katrin Truestedt

This course explores the “postdramatic theatre” (Hans-Thies Lehmann) of Heiner Müller, Elfriede Jelinek, and René Pollesch against its complex historic background in pre-dramatic, early modern and  dramatic theatre from Aeschylus, Shakespeare and Molière to Rousseau and Schiller. In close readings of plays like the Oresteia, Hamlet, Mary Stuart, Hamletmaschine, Die Schutzbefohlenen, Kill Your Darlings, we trace how the appearance of bodies and media on stage is related to the dramatic plot, and how the emphasis of the theatrical apparatus can question the primacy of dramatis personae and the theatrical illusion. Readings of dramatic texts and analyses of performance videos are accompanied by discussions of theoretical texts on performativity, theatricality, and subjectivation. Topics include the history of theatre, play, and drama; conceptions of performance, theatricality, and antitheatricality; speech act theory; subjectivity and authority; and the re-entry of the text within the theatrical play. TH 3:30pm-5:20pm

GMAN 678 / CPLT 907 / FILM 796

Media Archaeologies: the visual and the environmental

Rüdiger Campe; Franco Casetti

The seminar aims at retracing two divergent cultural processes: how and why, starting from the discovery of artificial perspective, an increasing number of cultural practices were devoted to make the world visible, and correlatively how and why, starting from the first half of 19th Century, visuality increasingly met with the resistance of other modes of accessing the world through the human body and the role of the environment? These two divergent trajectories will be retraced through a special attention to the media that were on the forefront of these cultural processes: from Brunelleschi’s mirror to Alberti’s window and grid, from camera obscura to Galileo’s telescope, from Panorama to Phantasmagoria, from the optical toys of the 19th century to the increasing implication of art into social and political questions. The seminar will privilege the cultural practices that underpin both the trust in visuality and the discovery of environmentality (it suffices to think of the complex practices tied to the idea of evidence), and it will give due attention to the political questions that the changing fortunes of the optical media imply.

The seminar is the first part of a two-year project and will be followed next year by an analysis of the prevalence of the environmental dimension in contemporary media. M 3:30-5:20

GMAN 679 / MUSI 857

Music of Nazi Germany

Gundula Kreuzer

W 2:30-4:20

GMAN 678 / GMAN 411 / CPLT 587 / HUMS 342 / LITR 406

World Literature

Kirk Wetters; Hannan Hever

The concept of world literature, from its origins in eighteenth-century cosmopolitanism represented by Herder and Goethe up to contemporary critical debates (Apter, Casanova, Cheah, Damrosch, Dharwadker, I. Hesse, Moretti, Mufti, Pollock, Said, Spivak). World literature in relation to national literature, German-language, and Jewish literature; translation, untranslatability, the effect of markets, diaspora, politics. Literary critical readings supplemented by exemplary literary texts in multiple genres. Student contributions based on individual linguistic backgrounds. W 3:30-4:20