Cool Courses for Winter 2022 - Open to All Students

Submitted by Michael Neininger on
Annemarie Schwarzenbach, MODERN GERMAN PROSE

As you start thinking about winter quarter 2022 course registration, check out these course offerings. They’re open to all students, have no prerequisites, and fulfill Areas of Knowledge requirements as noted.

GERMAN 298 A: Topics in Literature and Culture

Modern German Prose: Travel and Narration

The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 signaled a new era of openness and global mobility. This course asks how contemporary travel and migration experiences are narrated by a diverse group of transcultural writers in German and whose voices we hear in their stories. Travel texts from the 19th and 20th century will help broaden our reflection on pre- and post-pandemic movement. Requirements: Journals, class projects, midterm, take-home final. Texts and discussion in English.

Taught by Professor Brigitte Prutti, 5 credits, VLPA

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GERMAN 411 Studies in Medieval Literature and Culture

GERMAN 411 Studies in Medieval Literature and Culture

 A damsel in distress saved by an adoring knight – this common image of the medieval times only offers a very small insight into the rich literature of the Middle Ages and its concepts of love. This class introduces you to central medieval concepts with a specific focus on love in courtly and religious literature. The course explores these concepts of love by examining Gottfried von Staßburg’s Tristan, Medieval Courtly Love Poems and Mechthild von Magdeburg's Das Fließende Licht der Gottheit. The readings in this class serve as case studies to discuss the human need to bond with others and God, physically and spiritually, by the means of love. You will have direct access to medieval material and, in the process, both learn how to access pre-modern narratives and understand the importance of materiality and performance for medieval literature. Over the course of the quarter, you work alone and with others on three major creative projects: writing a modern love poem, drafting a continuation of Tristan, and adapting Mechthild von Magdeburg’s mystical writings for a modern audience.

By the end of the quarter you will have encountered different discourses on love in medieval German literature and, in the process, will have gained a better understanding of medieval literature, language, and culture and learned how to access pre-modern narratives. These overall objectives encompass many particular goals as well. As a result of this class, you should be able to read and analyze texts from various epochs closely and work in teams, apply questions that have occupied human thought to a variety of cultural contexts and approaches thus translating your knowledge through group work and individual research. Over the course of the quarter, you will expand your knowledge of the Middle Ages and literature as well as deepen your German. As we will explore various materials from medieval songs to early modern pamphlets, you will become versed in the importance of materiality and form in literature and experiment with these forms by yourself.

Taught by Professor Annegret Oehme, 5 credits, VLPA