A study of selected films made in Germany under the auspices of the Nazis (1933–1945). Illustrates that Nazi cinema was as much entertainment as it was overt propaganda in the service of a terror regime; therefore, includes examples of science fiction, adventure films, and adaptations of literature, as well as anti-Semitic and pro-war feature films and documentaries. Examines three interrelated areas: (1) how Nazi cultural politics and ideology defined the role of cinema; (2) how the films produced in Germany between 1933 and 1945 supported and/or undermined the Nazi regime; and (3) how politics, manipulation, and propaganda work through entertainment. Includes comparisons to representations of Nazi cinema today (e.g., Inglorious Basterds). No knowledge of German is required.
204. Intermediate German II: German History through Visual Culture
Designed to be an introduction to the critical reading of texts by genre (e.g., prose fiction and nonfiction, lyric poetry, drama, opera, film) in the context of German intellectual, political, and social history. Focuses on various themes and periods. Develops students’ sensitivity to generic structures and introduces terminology for describing and analyzing texts in historical and cross-cultural contexts. Weekly individual sessions with the Teaching Fellow from the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität-Mainz.
396. Vienna, 1890-1914
Steven CerfM 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
An examination of representative shorter literary works (i.e., Novellen, dramas, poetry, essays, etc.) of such diverse, psychologically oriented authors as Schnitzler, Freud, Hofmannsthal, Trakl, Kraus, and Musil in historical and cultural contexts. Three basic areas explored: (1) how and why turn-of-the-century Vienna became the home of modern psychiatry; (2) the myriad ways in which imaginative writers creatively interacted with leading composers, visual artists, and philosophers of the era; (3) the extent to which such cinematic directors as Ophüls, Reed, and Schlöndorff were able to capture Viennese intellectual and creative vibrancy for the screen.
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the concomitant end of the Cold War ushered in what many cultural critics call “the era of globalization.” An exploration of how contemporary German culture (1990–present) grapples with both the possibilities and uncertainties presented by globalization. Examines a myriad of cultural texts—films, audio plays, dramas, short fiction, novels, photographs, Web sites—as well as mass events (i.e., the Love Parade, the 2006 World Cup) within their political, social, and economic contexts to show how Germany’s troubled past continues to affect the role it plays on the global stage and how its changing demographics—increased urbanization and ethnic diversity—have altered its cultural and literary landscape. Critically considers issues such as migration, terrorism and genocide, sex tourism, the formation of the European Union and the supposed decline of the nation-state. Frequent short writings, participation in debates, and a final research project based upon a relevant topic of individual interest are required.