GE 108: The Changing Face of Germany in Text and Film
Formal module assessment requirements
- one unassessed essay of 2000 words, to be handed in by 12.00 noon on Tuesday 6 December 2016 (0%)
- one assessed essay of 3000 words, to be handed in by 12.00 noon on Tuesday 21 February 2017 (50%)
- one three hour examination, taken in the summer term (50%)
All essays must be handed in to the German Department Office and submitted online in advance. In the case of any discrepancy, the authoritative deadlines are those published in the German Department Undergraduate Handbook.
A revision session for the summer examination will take place in term 3.
The summer examination is 3 hours long. You will be required to answer two essay questions, the marks for which are equally weighted.
You must answer at least one question from Section B, which will cover texts and films from or about the GDR and about migrant culture, and at least one question from Section A, covering all other texts and films studied on the module.
For Section A, you must not write on a text or film you have written on for either of your coursework essays. You may, however, make passing reference to a text you have covered in your coursework essays, for example if you want to make a brief comparative comment.
We recommend strongly that you revise all material from the course in your preparation for the examination, including lecture notes. We do not stipulate a minimum number of texts/films to revise, as we expect students to be familiar with all material. You are strongly advised to allot equal time to each examination essay.
The link below will take you to past examination papers for this module.
Click here to view past exam papers
Coursework essays must be uploaded and a printed receipt attached to the essay before the submission of the paper version. This is the page for submitting your essay - it contains full instructions and an instructional video:
Coursework Essay Titles 2016-17
Your essay should be no more than 2,000 words in length, excluding your bibliography. The essay will not count towards the overall module mark.
Ensure that your essay contains a bibliography, and that you include the primary work you are discussing. Guidelines on bibliographical formats can be found in the Department’s Assessment Handbook which is on the Dept’s website under Resources and Support (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/modernlanguages/currentstudents/undergraduate/german/materials-copy/)
Your essay must be submitted to the Department Office no later than 12.00 noon on Tuesday 8 December 2016.
Discuss the critique of post-1945 West German society in Fassbinder’s Die Ehe der Maria Braun.
‘Control, independence, or sovereignty thus emerge as the film’s secret issues, the ‘blind spot’ of the otherwise meticulously reconstructed historical atmosphere.’ (Matthias Uecker, ‘A Fatal German Marriage: The National Subtext Of Fassbinder’s Die Ehe der Maria Braun’, German Life and Letters, 54:1 (January 2001), p. 52). To what extent do you agree with Uecker’s assessment of Fassbinder’s Die Ehe der Maria Braun?
Consider the role of Walter Fendrich as both central character and narrator in Böll’s Das Brot der frühen Jahre.
Discuss Böll’s critique of Wirtschaftswunder mentality in Das Brot der frühen Jahre.
‘Das dokumentarische Theater enthält sich jeder Erfindung, es übernimmt authentisches Material.’; ‘Das dokumentarische Theater ist parteilich’ (Peter Weiss, ‘Notizen zum dokumentarischen Theater’). Discuss the relationship between objectivity and political statement in Die Ermittlung.
‘In a work where there is no attempt to reproduce Auschwitz on stage and where Auschwitz is never even mentioned, the site of the Holocaust becomes not Auschwitz but language, […].’ (Robert Cohen, ‘The Political Aesthetics of Holocaust Literature: Peter Weiss's The Investigation and Its Critics’, in: History and Memory, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Fall 1998), p. 48. Discuss Peter Weiss’ Die Ermittlung in the light of this quote, taking into account Weiss’ stylistic choices for the play.
Your essay should be no more than 3,000 words in length, excluding your bibliography. It will account for 50% of your marks for this module.
You are not permitted to answer on the text or film which was the focus of your first essay.
Your essay must be submitted to the Department Office no later than 12.00 noon on Tuesday 23 February 2017.
1. Discuss the approaches to the issue of ‘Vergangenheitsbewältigung’ taken Bernhard Wicki in Die Brücke and by Verhoeven in Das schreckliche Mädchen.
Discuss the significance of the love affair between Hanna and Michael for an understanding of the issues of ‘Vergangenheitsbewältigung’ in Schlink’s Der Vorleser.
‘As an exemplary victim in his own right, and an eloquent mouthpiece for the reader’s own efforts to come to terms with the Holocaust, Berg becomes such an object of sympathetic identification that we are ill-placed to observe or critique the not insignificant errors of his own thought and (in)action.’ (William Collins Donahue, ‘Illusions of Subtlety: Bernhard Schlink’s Der Vorleser and the Moral Limits of Holocaust Fiction’, German Life and Letters, 54:1 (January 2001), p. 61). To what extent do you agree with Donahue’s assessment of Schlink’s novel?
3. ‘An untenable sanitizing of the political issues which Böll’s story raised’ (Siegfried Schober, DER SPIEGEL, 41, 1975, p.169-70). Do you agree with this assessment of Schlöndorff’/von Trotta’s Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum?
4. Discuss Jelinek's representation of gender relations in Die Liebhaberinnen.
5. Discuss the use of irony in Jelinek’s Die Liebhaberinnen and Böll’s novella Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum.