What happens when you sell your soul to the devil?
What happens when you sell your soul to the devil? Was Shakespeare actually German? Just how relative is time and does that affect deadlines for this course?
Whether we know or not, many of the questions that we ask ourselves to makes sense of our lives have a rich history in German speaking lands. From the structure of the modern university to the birth of psychoanalysis, from the Protestant Reformation to Marx and Engels’s Communist Manifesto, from classical music to industrial rock—German cultures have initiated, enlivened, and certainly engaged the conversations that dominate our political and social discourses.
The course provides both an introduction to the modern university and an interrogation of the relationship between knowledge and power. We will explore ways that German thinkers have constructed modern academic disciplines that we take for granted—from Classics to Sociology to Physics—and learn how they are as much products of historical contingency as reflections of the natural world.