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GE 207: German Culture in the Age of Revolution


Module aims

The aims of the module are:

  • to provide you with an overview of political, social, and cultural developments in Germany from the period immediately preceding the French Revolution of 1789, via the Napoleonic wars, the French occupation, the restoration of Germany after 1815, to the rise of socialism in the period leading up to the failed German revolution of March 1848;
  • to locate within this historical framework key movements and currents in the history of ideas in Germany;
  • to study in detail a selection of key literary texts from the German national cultural tradition as mediators of the central ideas and debates of the period;
  • to further skills in literary critical analysis learned in the first year of your course.
Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you should:

  • have gained knowledge and critical understanding of a key period in the culture and history of Germany and insight into the range and variety of its cultural practices;
  • be able to demonstrate skills in independent critical analysis of a range of set texts from the period in German culture 1780-1848;
  • be able to contextualise set texts in terms of their relation to the social and political history of the period and/or the history of ideas.

In addition, the module will provide you with the opportunity to develop further the following skills:

  • the ability to abstract and synthesize key information from written and spoken sources in German and English;
  • the ability to organize, present, and defend ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument;
  • the ability to formulate your opinions with reference to established interpretations;
  • the ability to analyse critically a range of materials in German and English (primary texts, secondary sources, contextualizing historical material);
  • the ability to apply critical methodologies to the analysis of literary texts;
  • the ability to conduct independent research using library and bibliographic resources and ICT skills.
Teaching and assessment

The module is taught by a combination of weekly lectures and student-led seminars.

Teaching times: Lecture: Tuesday 4.00-5.00 (in Ramphal, room R0.12)

Seminars: Wednesday 9.30-11.00 and 11:00-12:30 (H202)