GERMAN 416 - Seminar in German Studies
Section: 002 Minority Reports: Cultural Productions By and About Minorities in the German Sphere
Term: FA 2017
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
One year beyond GERMAN 232. Students may not take the same topic twice.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Long before the current immigration debate in Germany, minorities have been part of the German-speaking world as contributors to various forms of culture as well as (sometimes problematic) cultural objects themselves. In post-1989 Germany, the concept of “Leitkultur” (“leading, defining, or core culture”) has become a lightning rod for various critiques of multiculturalism articulated both by the political right and the political left. Coined just before the turn of the twenty-first century, the term was originally conceived as a stand-in for the liberal values of Western modernity. “Leitkultur” has also become a rallying cry in conservative attempts to define “minority” as a category subordinated to, subsumed by and beholden to “Leitkultur.” In this course we will engage with current debates about identity and value systems in the German-speaking world. We will analyze texts and films mainly but not exclusively from the 20th and 21st century with whose help we will articulate answers to questions such as: Was/Wer ist deutsch? What does it mean to be (a) German or Austrian or Swiss today? How have “minority” and “minor culture” been defined in the past auf deutsch, and how are they defined today? What is the value of a cultural canon and how is it determined?

Discussions and readings will be in German with the exception of a small number of theoretical texts, provided in both German and English. Authors will include: Franz Kafka, Heinrich Heine, Gertrud Kolmar, Ruth Kluger, Herta Müller, Fatih Akin, Yoko Tawada, Selim Ozdogan, and Kaminer.

Course Requirements:

All course materials will be made available on Canvas. Assignments can include two short papers, one longer research paper, and a presentation. Student input about the type and number of course assignments will be solicited at the beginning of the semester.

Class Format:

Discussions and readings will be in German with the exception of a small number of theoretical texts, provided in both German and English.

GERMAN 416 - Seminar in German Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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