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GE339 Exploring Zeitgeist: Politics, Culture and Society in Germany Today

Module Code: GE339
Module Name: Exploring Zeitgeist: Politics, Culture and Society in Germany Today

Module Coordinator: Andrea Klaus

Module Tutors: Elisabeth Herrmann, Nora Michaelis, Andrea Klaus

Mode of Delivery: 2hr in-person mixed lecture and seminar per week

Date and time: Term 2
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

In this module students will explore contemporary German culture and language. Students will acquire profound knowledge of current social, political, cultural, economic, and ecological developments in Germany, advancing linguistic alongside cultural fluency. Taught in German, this module aims at a critical in-depth understanding of highly topical debates that shape German society today, including Germany's role on the international stage. Newspapers, journal articles, essays as well as media like news channels, blogs, and podcasts will provide materials for the module. The central aim of this module is to enable students to engage with German-speaking people and future employers on a sophisticated cultural level. Students will be immersed in German, practicing it in discussions and round tables.


Cultural and collective identity; the political system, federalism, economy and industrial locations; migration, minorities, and diversity; Germany in Europe and the world; gender in politics, society and language; climate, sustainable energy, and environment; regional differences, dialects, and local patriotism

Assessment Method:

2500 word essay (60%), student presentation (30%), class participation (10%)

Moodle page

Talis Aspire

Selected bibliography:

Raymond Williams: "The Analysis of Culture". In: ders: The Long Revolution. Chatto & Windus, London 1961, S. 41-53.

Aleida Assmann: "Cultural Studies und Kulturwissenschaften - zwei Entstehungsgeschichten.” In: dies.: Einführung in die Kulturwissenschaft. Grundbegriffe, Themen, Fragestellungen. Erich Schmidt, Berlin 2011, 3. Auflage, pp. 20-30.

Jan Assmann and John Czaplicka Source: “Collective Memory and Cultural Identity.” In: New German Critique , Spring - Summer, 1995, No. 65, pp. 125-133.

Bahr, Amrei and Katja Hagedorn: Basiswissen für Dolmetscher. Deutschland und das Vereinigte Königreich Großbritannien und Nordirland. Frank und Timme: Berlin 2018. pp. 9-16, 22-24, 26-33, 47-48.