Spring 2014

GER 526 Topics in German Literature – Poetry and Philosophy
This course explores the relationship between poetry and philosophy within the context of the German tradition. We read works of philosophy inspired by poets, works of poetry inspired by philosophers, and works whose status lies bizarrely in between, in addition to some of the theories and commentaries that seek to pinpoint the epistemic contribution of such hybrids. In the process, we ask ourselves all the most basic questions about the possibility of a specifically literary truth, but we do so on the presumption that even these basics will turn out to be historically conditioned. Th 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm. Prof. Sarah Pourciau

GER 522 Dramatic Art and Theory – Figurations of the Virtuoso
The course investigates the discourse on the virtuoso between the 19th century and contemporary discussions around skills, discipline and work in neoliberal economies. Figurations of the virtuosic are examined in relation to images of the artist as genius, technician and “charlatan.” Questions concerning notions of excellence and mastery are discussed, as well as the traits of failure–aspects of the virtuoso, understood not as an exception, but rather as a necessity to everyone (Paolo Virno). The course follows the transformations of the terminology and theory of virtuosic performance on the border between epistemology and art. T 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm. Prof. Gabriele Brandstetter.

GER 521 Topics in German Intellectual History – Aby Warburg and the History of Science around 1900
Aby Warburg is not only the inventor of the concept of “Kulturwissenschaft” which he developed on the background of the rediscovery of the “wild origins of culture” in the 19th century by means of a transgression of the principals of art history. He was also occupied with the attempt to develop an energetic theory of culture, the expressions of emotions, and the symbolic praxis of mankind. The seminar studies central parts of his publications and then unpublished notes and analyzes them within the scientific thought of his time which were engaged with approaches beyond both myth vs. science and Natur- vs. Geisteswissenschaften. T 10:00 am – 12:50 pm. Prof. Sigrid Weigel

GER 520 Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory – Alexander Kluge and the New Left
First emerging from the camp of German critical theory in the early 1960s, Alexander Kluge has become one of the most important figures in the New Left today. Indeed, the corpus of media theory, philosophy, fiction, film and television work that he has assembled over the last half-century has acquired new legibility and actuality since the financial crisis of 2008. Moving through the major stations in his body of work, this seminar focuses in particular on Kluge’s renewal of the Frankfurt School’s Freudo-Marxist paradigm as well as his relationship to other contemporaneous currents within the European (esp. French) Left generally. W 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm. Prof. Devin Fore

GER 439 / ART 439 Dürer’s World
The course examines the staggering diversity of Albrecht Dürer’s pictorial experimentation, as well as his role as a collector, teacher, diarist, art theorist and intellectual in the German Reformation. Through reading, discussion, and object examination, the seminar will question traditional emphases upon the idea of Dürer’s “mastery” and probe the role his work has played in understandings of the Renaissance and various modernities. W 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm. Prof. Christopher Heuer

GER 553 / ART 553 Seminar in Central European Art
This seminar considers the idea of the “Netherlandish Model”, the impact of the Low Countries on cultural exchange with Central Europe (and the world) ca. 1400-1750. W 9:00 am – 11:50 am. Prof. Thomas Kaufmann.

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