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Syllabus Terrorism and Political Violence in German Public Memory and Visual Culture - 54831
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Last update 15-09-2016
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: cont. german studies:politics, soc.&cult

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann

Coordinator Office Hours: Wednesday, 12-14

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht Hartmann

Course/Module description:
The course will analyze the impact of terrorist attacks and acts of political violence on German cultural memory. It focuses on different – partly opposing – forms of political violence and extremism: the radical left, the extremist right and current forms of Islamism, and reviews terrorist attacks from the 1970s (RAF, German Autumn, Entebbe), the 1980s (Octoberfest attack) and the first decades of the 21st Century (Madrid, London, Paris Wurzburg; NSU).

Course/Module aims:
Based on theories of cultural memory, and mainly discussing examples from film, television, visual arts, photography, memorials and museum exhibitions the objective of the course is to identify resonances, differences and collisions between different forms of political violence as they are communicated through visual culture, and at the same time to trace the place of memories of violence within contemporary German and European culture and society.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Acquisition of general knowledge about German postwar history and memory of terrorism and political violence. Introduction into significant parts of postwar German visual culture. Applied knowledge of methods and theories related to memory studies and visual culture. Individual and collective ability to work with various sources (historical, cultural) and present them to the class.

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: The teaching is organized as a thematically arranged overview of the German postwar history of political violence. Introductory sessions will provide the students with relevant background knowledge about German history and culture as well as important subjects of understanding terrorism and political violence. They will also introduce concepts and methods for analyzing cultural memory and visual culture. Each segment of the course will deal with a specific thematic aspect of postwar political violence (right wing extremism, radical left, Islamist terrorism), which will be introduced in an overview lecture. The students are required to independently review research material that is offered by the course instructor and prepare a session that is dealing with a specific focus on each topic (either from the perspective of public memory or from the perspective of visual culture).

Course/Module Content:
The general theoretical framework of the course will be an evaluation of terrorism and political violence in postwar German history through the framework of public memory and visual culture. Topics that will be part of the course content are:

- German Postwar Political Violence
- Resonating Violence – Entangled History: Historiography, Cultural Memory, Visual Culture
- Right Wing Extremism in Public Memory and Visual Culture
- The Radical Left in Public Memory and Visual Culture
- Islamist Terrorism in Public Memory and Visual Culture

Required Reading:
- Bruce Hoffman, Putting German Terrorism in Perspective, in: GHI BULLETIN No. 43 (Fall 2008): 59-65.

- Thomas Elsaesser, German Cinema: Terror and Trauma - Cultural Memory Since 1945, New York and London: Routledge 2014.

A full reading list will be provided at the beginning of the seminar.

Additional Reading Material:
- Jeffrey Herf, Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left 1967-1989, New York: Cambridge Univ. Pr. 2016.

- Ingo Cornils, and Gerrit-Jan Berendse, Baader-Meinhof Returns: History and Cultural Memory of Left-Wing Terrorism.

- Stefan Aust, and Dirk Laabs. Heimatschutz: Der Staat Und Die Mordserie Der NSU. München: Pantheon, 2014.

- Olaf Sundermeyer. Rechter Terror in Deutschland: Eine Geschichte Der Gewalt. München: Beck, 2012.

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 40 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 20 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 40 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
Preparation of a Session: 50%

Review of a Source: 20%

Final Research Paper: 30%
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.