Berlin and Beyond
Berlin is an exciting city with a tumultuous past and a thriving present. Weimar metropolis, World War II rubble heap, Cold War battleground-- the Berlin of today is the political capital of unified Germany and an important cultural stage of the globalized 21st century. Twenty-some years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, German literature is also strikingly diverse and readable. Young writers in their twenties and thirties produce bestselling stories and novels and they garner major literary prizes. They are quickly translated and reviewed both in Germany and abroad. Both migrant and women writers have been powerful voices in shaping the current literary scene. How did this come about? What are the major trends in German literature? Who are its most visible proponents? Why the international appeal?
This course introduces students to the history of modern German literature and culture with a special focus on Berlin. Course materials include literature and film plus some historical and analytical texts. The three major course goals are to broaden students’ cultural horizons, to foster their interest in world literature in translation, and to sharpen their critical reading and writing skills. Course requirements include several shorter writing assignments, reading quizzes, and a take-home final. Readings and lectures in English.