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Syllabus German Culture Film and Theater - 54806
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Last update 03-09-2020
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: Cont. German Studies:politics, Soc.&Cult

Semester: 1st Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann

Coordinator Office Hours: Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht Hartmann

Course/Module description:
The course introduces German contemporary culture in its different forms including theatre, cinema, photography and visual arts.

Course/Module aims:
The course gives an insight into different sections and media of contemporary German culture. Furthermore it introduces theoretical approaches in order to understand and conceptualize German postwar culture.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
- contextualize and analyze German culture, film and theater
- compare and evaluate cultural changes and developments in German and German speaking countries
- reflect the importance of culture for (shifting) identities
- read and understand theoretical concepts of culture

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: The course will be held online in asynchronous and synchronous teaching. Students have to watch online lectures and audiovisual essays in preparation for each session. In addition the course is based on key texts from German media theory, social science, communications and critical theory, which students prepare for the meetings. The post-war development of German culture, film and theatre will be discussed through influential works (theatre, film, and visual arts), technologies (photography, film), and theories. Students contribute with different tasks: introducing a theatre play, film artwork or artist for an online exhibition, and writing a review about a play, film or artwork.

Course/Module Content:
1) Introduction: Culture or Kultur? – 21 October 2020

2) German Postwar Culture: A complex entanglement – 28 October 2020

3) Epic Theater: From Bertolt Brecht to Heiner Müller – 4 November 2020

4) Documentary Theatre: From Peter Weiss to Elfriede Jelinek – 11 November 2020

5) Rising from Rubble: Beginnings of Post-war German Cinema – 18 November 2020

6) Images from the East: DEFA Cinema – 25 November 2020

7) Under the Surface: New German Cinema – 2 December 2020

8) Towards Social Reality: German Documentary Cinema – 9 December 2020

10) Post-Unification Cinema: Reviewing German Film from the Margins – 16 December 2020

11) West German Photography between Photojournalism and Art – 23 December 2020

12) Dissident Photography in the GDR - 30 December 2020

13) East and West German Visual Arts – 6 January 2021

14) Looking at Germany: Gerhard Richter’s Paintings – 13 January 2021

15) Conclusion – 20 January 2021

Required Reading:
Rob Burns and Wilfried van der Will, 'The Federal Republic 1968 to 1990: From the Industrial Society to the Culture Society,' German Cultural Studies: an introduction. Ed. Rob Burns (Oxford, 2007): 257-323.

Theodor W. Adorno, 'Cultural Criticism and Society,' The Adorno Reader, Ed. Brian O'Connor (Oxford, 2000), 195-210.

Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility (Cambridge: Harward Univ. Pr., 2008), 19-55.

Alexander Kluge, 'On Film and the Public Sphere,' New German Critique, 24/25 (1981/1982), 206-220.

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

Additional Reading Material:
A full reading list will be provided at the beginning of the seminar.

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

Additional information:
Course requirements:

1. Active participation in asynchronous and synchronous teaching

2. Preparation of weekly reading material: formulating a question to the text

3. Introducing a theater play, film, artwork or artist for an online exhibition – 20%

4. Written review of a theatre play, film, artwork or artist (different from the exhibition; deadline 20 December 2020) – 20%

5.Final paper on a postwar German artist, photographer, playwright, filmmaker, play, film, artwork, exhibition … (10 Pages, 12 pt., Double Space) - Submission deadline for the final paper: 11 March 2021 – 60%

Seminar papers (25-30 Pages, 12 pt., Double Space) can be written in the course, an abstract, research question and draft bibliography has to be submitted until 22 January 2021. Final submission deadline for the seminar paper is 30 September 2021.
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.