Graduate Seminars for Spring 2020

Content for Spring 2020

German 202C (4) Modern German Literature. Balint
(Taught in German)

“Time of/and the Contemporary”

What are the dominant notions of time in the contemporary? How are the relations between past, present, and future configured? Focusing on these questions, the course explores different ways of historicizing the contemporary and asks what it means to do so not from historical distance but from the position of temporal proximity and embeddedness. Do we live in a “broad present,” as Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht calls the “new chronotope,” or under a “present shock,” as Douglas Rushkoff argues? Reading diagnoses of the contemporary alongside theoretical inquiries and literary works, the course dedicates itself to questions of narrativity and form; memory and futurity; digitality and the present. Literary texts by Herta Müller, Nora Krug, Katja Petrowskaja, Kathrin Röggla, Rainald Goetz, Thomas Meinecke, Berit Glanz, Stefanie Sargnagel, among others.

The seminar concludes with a two-day workshop on April 3-4, 2020, co-lead with Prof. Eckhard Schumacher (Universität Greifswald, Germany). Readings in German and English (handled flexibly), assignments and discussion in English. Students with limited reading knowledge of German are also welcome. 

German 204 (2) Compact Seminar. Seeba
(Taught in German)

AESTHETICS OF HISTORY: LESSING, SCHILLER, NOVALIS, KLEIST“.  In the age of fake news, the disparity of historical and poetic truth, as it emerged in the 18th century, gains new significance. When the study of history became an academic discipline, the role of historical writing between factual report and literary representation was intensely discussed – by historians, philosophers of history and writers, from Chladenius, Wegelin and Gatterer in history, by Kant and Herder in philosophy, by Winckelmann in art history, and by Lessing, Schiller, Novalis and Kleist in literature. Against the background of theoretical debates on historical perspectivism, the compact seminar will concentrate on the latters’ literary contribution to the aesthetics of historical thinking, as it evolved into a new poetics of literature.

Participants should be (or become) familiar with Lessing’s Nathan der Weise (1779), Schiller’s Was heißt und zu welchem Ende studiert man Universalgeschichte? (1789), Novalis’ Heinrich von Ofterdingen (1802), and Kleist’s Der zerbrochne Krug (1805). Excerpts from all other pertinent writings will be provided in class.

Note: this class only meets for 5 Fridays from 01/31-02/28/2020.  Taught in German.

German 214/CL 215 (4) 20th Century. Largier
(Taught in English)

“Affect and Expression in German Theater from the Baroque to the Postmodern”.
We will read key texts from the history of German theater, focusing first on the period from the Baroque to the Sturm und Drang, then on a few significant post-1945 plays. We will do so with an eye to the history of affect and expression, especially in relation to questions of performance, theatricality and melodrama. This historical focus will help us to reflect on the complexity of modernist and postmodernist imperatives to dispense with bourgeois forms of subjectivity—understood as hypostases of the self and ideals of mastery or continuity. From that point of view, we hope to track, in the turn from the Baroque to Empfindsamkeit, to Sturm und Drang, and finally the Postwar period, alternate histories of the role of affect and affective labor in the foundations and critiques of ‘modern subjectivity.’ Literary authors will include Lohenstein, Klopstock, Lenz, Goethe, Schiller, Ingeborg Bachmann, Heiner Müller, and Elfriede Jelinek. These primary texts will be paired with Benjamin’s reflections on the Trauerspiel, Buci-Glucksmann’s reflections on the Baroque and the postmodern; excerpts from Lacan, Foucault, Barthes, and Deleuze; and recent work in affect studies.

German 255 (4) Interpretation of Poetry. Kudszus
(Taught in English)

In-depth readings of German-language poetry from the 18th to the 21st centuries. For their individual projects, participants will choose any text or constellation of texts corresponding with their intellectual interests. Our joint readings and reflections will involve both poetry per se and poetological statements mostly from writers themselves. Friedrich Hölderlin, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rainer Maria Rilke, Georg Trakl, Gottfried Benn, Ingeborg Bachmann, Paul Celan, Herta Müller, and Uljana Wolf, among others, will animate our considerations.—Texts in German, lectures & discussions in English.

German 282 (4) Old Saxon. Rauch
(Taught in English)

Introduction to a literarily, culturally, and linguistically diverse language which is unquestionably the most provocative of the major Germanic dialects in terms of language identification and language origin. The Old Saxon Heliand, a darling of translation enthusiasts, together with the OS Genesis and a Latin verse and prose preface provide the socio-cultural milieu reflective of Europe’s historical impact on the second half of the first millenium CE. Consideration of the most recent Old Saxon find in 2006, the digitized Leipzig manuscript, advances the historical relevance into the 16th century through a forensic trail tracing Luther’s possession/use of an original Heliand manuscript. The hybrid Old Saxon language shares features with Old Frisian and Old English to the North, and with Old High German to the South. No prerequisites.

German 375B (4) Language Pedagogy II. Euba
(Taught in English and German)

This course expands upon the basis of methodology and theory of language teaching covered in 350 and prepares students for teaching at the intermediate level. The theoretical and practical exploration of recent developments in second language teaching concentrates on instructional technology, teaching writing, teaching literary texts, and curriculum design. Students reflect on their development as teachers through a journal, video, and observation of their teaching, and the final portfolio.