The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 signaled a new era of openness and global mobility. It spawned new forms of writing and reflection, which will be the focus of our discussion and inquiry. We will work with short prose texts and novels from the period between the end of the Cold War to the present, with an emphasis on transcultural writing from the last decade.
Folktales and fairy tales entertain and teach their audiences about culture. They explain taboos, model ideal behaviors, and demonstrate the punishments for violating the collective and its prescribed social roles. These tales pass on vital cultural and social histories via metaphoric language. In this course, we will examine a variety of classical and contemporary fairy and folktale texts from German and other European cultures, learn about approaches to folklore materials and fairy tale texts, and look at our own culture with a critical-historical perspective.
Music is a powerful emotional force that both unites and divides people, giving voice to the most beautiful and disturbing aspects of human culture. Explore the history of musical experience in Germany as an introduction to cultural studies, as we listen to Bach and Turkish-German rappers, watch films about Mozart and Cabaret, and read influential texts in music theory and ethnomusicology. All texts will be in English.
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the literature and the visual culture of fin-de-siècle Vienna and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the aftermath of its disintegration into World War I. With an emphasis on the relationship between different disciplines (literature, art, critical theory, history, and psychology) the course will be organized around major themes from the period, such as sexuality, gender, decay, and the crisis of identity and language.
Registration starts Lunar New Year, Feb 12.