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Syllabus German Modernism in Literature and Theory - 32809
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Last update 26-07-2020
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: German Language & Literature

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Prof. Vivian Liska

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: Mondays 14:00-16:00

Teaching Staff:
Prof Vivian Liska

Course/Module description:
This course explores some of the major literary and theoretical works of German modernism from 1900 to the aftermath of WWII. Among the authors to be discussed are Friedrich Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Else Lasker-Schüler, Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, Gottfried Benn, Alfred Döblin, and Paul Celan. Special attention will be given to literature and the role of literary language in theoretical texts and to philosophical implications of modernist literary texts.

Course/Module aims:
The course aims at gaining a fuller understanding of the modernist paradigm through close readings of short texts in light of their literary, historical and philosophical contexts

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Practice close readings of complex texts, reflect upon and interpret important literary and theoretical works in the context of their times

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Interactive Seminar Form

Course/Module Content:
15 March: Introduction: What is Modernism?
22 March: Nietzsche Fragments
5 April: Hugo von Hofmannsthal: “Brief an Lord Chandos”/ “Letter to Lord Chandos”
12 April: Walter Benjamin on Language and Experience
19 April: Franz Kafka: Descriptions of a Struggle
26 April: Else Lasker-Schüler: Poetry and Prose
3 May: Expressionist Poetry
10 May: no class
17 May: no class
24 May: Reiner Maria Rilke: “Die Turnstunde”/“The Gym Class”
31 May: Alfred Döblin: Murder of a Buttercup Flower
7 June: Gottfried Benn: “Brains”/”Gehirne”
14 June: Paul Celan and Kafka: On Language and Destiny
21 June: Student Presentations
28 June : Student Presentations

Required Reading:
A Reader will be available for the students before the beginning of the course

Additional Reading Material:
A list with Bibliographical information will be made available for the students before the beginning of the course

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 20 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 60 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 20 %

Additional information:
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.