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Provincial—Pariah—Powerhouse: Reading German-language Culture in a Global Perspective

Module Code: GE112
Module Name: Provincial—Pariah—Powerhouse: Reading German-language Culture in a Global Perspective
Module Coordinator: Dan Hall
Terms 1-3
Module Credits: 30

Module Description

This module has a dual focus. It seeks to equip students with the tools for engaging critically with the narratives and media that determine our relationships with contemporary society. In so doing, students will encounter landmarks in the history of modern Germany, which emerged as a nation out of a confederation of provinces and principalities in the 19th century. We will touch on the political turmoil, conflicts, and violence that at times made Imperial Germany, the Third Reich and the post-1945 Germanies pariah states in the eyes of the international community. We will also reflect on the developments that led to contemporary Germany's emergence as a cultural, political and economic powerhouse, shaping global trends in film, literature, theatre and music.

The module focuses on the media and representations through which many of us first encounter German-language culture: fairy-tales and their afterlives; performance, visual and screen culture; music and sound. In other words, students will sample the works and ideas that have put Germany and the German language on the world map.

We will engage with a number of key questions. How did German literature, film, art, and music transform the status of the German language? How did German-speaking artists shape the cultural genres that we consume today? How does engaging with these works give us a more differentiated understanding of the positive and negative aspects of Germany's history and its global influence?

Distinct blocks within the module will zoom in on different areas: close analysis of texts; reading visual images; understanding performance cultures; responding to sound. Within one or more of these blocks you will explore debates about identity, nationality, gender, race, diversity and memory.

The module will help you develop skills that will be essential for the rest of your degree and your life after Warwick: critical reading; clear and concise argumentation; excellent written and oral communication skills; independent thinking and research.

This module will be taught by means of 1 lecture and 1 seminar group every week.

Assessment Method:

Assessment: 50% assessed essay, 50% online exam