GERMAN 303 - Topics in German Culture and the Arts
Winter 2021, Section 002 - The Fall of the Berlin Wall
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures
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Requirements & Distribution:
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Other Course Info:
Taught in English.
May be elected three times for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course will explore the political and cultural significance of the opening of the wall between east and west Berlin in 1989, one of the central events of 20th century German history. This exploration will proceed on two levels: (1) We will examine how different cultural theorists analyzed the event and its effects, mobilizing concepts such as revolution, crisis, trauma, and nostalgia. (2) We will study the event’s pre- and post-history, reading literary texts, paintings, and other cultural artifacts and institutions. Focusing on the pre-history of 1989, we will read literary texts dealing with issues central to the history, politics, and culture of the former German Democratic Republic: the commitment to the creation of an anti-fascist, democratic, socialist state in the GDR’s early phase, the critique of its Stalinization, the development of dissident cultures (dissident Marxist authors, punk scenes, etc.), and the repression of these sub-cultures. Here we will read Christa Wolf, Heiner Muller, among others. We will also study early texts dealing with fascist exile, migration, and the return to Germany that acquired new significance in the 21st century. Here we will read Anna Seghers and Barbara Honigmann. Focusing on the post-history, we will read texts about dislocation, nostalgia and liberation, and study attempts to musealize east German industrial landscapes and the texture of vanishing everyday lives.

All readings will be in English.

Class Format:

Format: Instructor will introduce each class with a 15 min lecture; then go through readings carefully; use powerpoints for visuals; use hand-outs for small group work

Technology: Instructor will use canvas and conduct synchronous meetings through zoom

Course Testing/Assessment: Testing synchronous for mid-term; answering exam questions during class period; short term paper at end - topic in consultation with instructor


GERMAN 303 - Topics in German Culture and the Arts
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
002 (SEM)
003 (SEM)
004 (SEM)

Textbooks/Other Materials

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