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Syllabus The Legacy of German - Jewish Modernism - 32867
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Last update 10-08-2017
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: german, russian & east european studies

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Prof. Vivian Liska

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: Wednesdays 14-16 or by appointment

Teaching Staff:
Prof Vivian Liska

Course/Module description:
The Legacy of German-Jewish Modernism

German-Jewish modernist literature and thought has become one of the most vibrant areas of academic scholarship in the humanities. Authors such as Else Lasker-Schüler, Franz Kafka and Paul Celan, as well as thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin and Gerschom Scholem – to name only a few – have exerted a remarkable impact on 20th century literature, theory and scholarship in general. This course attempts to introduce students to this German-Jewish legacy through a cultural, historical and social contextualization, an exploration of this legacy’s specific characteristics and, above all, a close scrutiny of some of its canonical works. Special attention will be given to the tension between European Modernity and the Jewish tradition as it manifests itself in these writings, as well as to the vast body of critical writing which it has generated over the past hundred years.

Course/Module aims:
Convey to the students the meaning, contexts, themes, importance and influence of the German-Jewish Legacy

Discuss this legacy and its situation in a contemporary intellectual, literary and political context

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
*know, understand and discuss the main characteristics of the German-Jewish legacy, its authors and texts.

*situate this legacy in its historical and intellectual context

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Lectures, discussions, collective close reading, class presentation and related final paper

Course/Module Content:
28 February: Introduction I: The German-Jewish Legacy
7 March: Introduction II: Modernism in the German-Jewish Context
14 March: Hugo von Hofmannsthal: “Brief an Lord Chandos”/ “Letter to Lord Chandos”
21 March: closed
28 March: closed
4 April: closed
11 April: Else Lasker-Schüler: “Mein Volk”, Hebrew Ballads
18 April: Theodor Herzl: Philosophical Tales
25 April: Stefan Zweig:
2 May: Franz Kafka: “Before the Law,” “Speech on the Jiddish Language”
9 May: Nelly Sachs: Choirs after Midnight
16 May: Paul Celan: “Psalms”
23 May: About Kafka: Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem
6 June: About Kafka: Hannah Arendt
13 June: Kafka - Paul Celan – Robert Schindel
20 June: Full Day Workshop: The German-Jewish Legacy Today

Required Reading:
A Reader including all the material to be discussed in class will be made available to the students. The reader will also include texts the students can choose from for their presentations.

Additional Reading Material:
The students will be provided with a selected bibliography of the vast secondary literature on the topic. It will include works such as Robert Alter's Necessary Angels, Steven Aschheim's "Beyond the Borders" and Vivian Liska's "The German-Jewish Legacy and its Aftermath"

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 40 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 60 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
The course will be taught in English but a perfect mastery of the language is not required. The students have, however,to be able to read texts, understand lectures and follow discussions in English.
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.