Autumn 2020 offers several excellent English-language options for undergraduate students in the department and beyond:
German 195: Popular Film and the Holocaust
Taught by Prof. Richard Block. Recent events around the globe and here at home have revived frightful memories of the Holocaust and the devastating possibility that history could repeat itself. Already, we have heard talk of arm bands, national registries of people of a specific faith, and even mass deportations. The devaluation of Jewish and Roma life, in particular, that led to the slaughter of 11 million people, is repeating itself with respect to immigrants and Muslims in particular. In this course, we will ask ourselves why have we learned nothing. Given the virtual industry that has grown up around the Holocaust, the thousands of films, memoirs, novels, songs, operas etc., why has its central and most compelling message—that nothing can justify or redeem genocide-been lost? Why might we be destined to repeat the past?
A "quick talk" about portrayals of the Holocaust in film with Dr. Richard Block is online now! 20 minutes, and a great preview for his fall course, Popular Film and the Holocaust. This lecture looks at how the Holocaust is portrayed in films, and how the 2015 Hungarian film "Son of Saul" addresses concerns about creating representations of the Holocaust.
German 285: HEROINES and HEROES
Taught by Prof. Ellwood Wiggins. What makes a hero? Why do we need heroes? What happens when heroes fail us? In this course, we explore the characteristics of heroes in literature and film from antiquity to today. The formal and psychological structures of heroism will be analyzed under the rubrics of admiration, identification, seduction, and disillusionment. We will interrogate how both genre and gender impact the representation of heroes, and examine characters such as Ms. Marvel, Achilles, Odysseus, Antigone, Jesus, Satan, the Buddha, Zarathustra, Winnetou, Wonder Woman (and other Amazonian Warrior Princesses), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Get your Wonder Woman on!! (Heroines and Heroes, course info)