Spring 2016

GER517/MOD 535 Modernism and Modernity: Modernization and Modernism in France and Germany, 1848-1914
This seminar attempts to understand the rise of modernism in French and German literature, architecture, painting, and photography as part of the processes of modernization that dominated Europe in the era of commodity capitalism. Topics to be considered include Baudelaire and the transformation of Paris, aestheticism and symbolism as forms of retreat, aesthetic urbanism in turn-of-the century Berlin, and modern tensions between individual subjectivity and public life.
M. Jennings, 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm Tuesday

GER 519 German Literature after 1945: Ingelborg Bachmann und Susan Taubes – Literatur und Philosophie nach 1945
A comparison of contemporaries, whose oeuvres show many parallels although their lives differ greatly, who never met but were partly in contact with same people (e.a. Scholem, J. Taubes): German writing Bachmann (1926 Klagenfurt – 1973 Rome) and English writing S. Taubes (1928 Budapest -1969 New York, exiled in 1939). Against the backdrop of the intellectual climate in post-war Europe, U.S., and Israel, the reading includes the novels Malina (1971) and Divorcing (1969), selected poetry and prose, the dissertations and essays on philosophy (e.g. Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Simone Weil), and correspondence (with P. Celan, H.-W. Henze, J. Taubes).
S. Weigel, 7:00 pm – 9:50 pm Monday

GER 520/ARC 524 Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory: media Theory since 2000
This seminar offers a critical survey of recent trends in the field of media theory, focusing in particular on how these developments engage with questions of aesthetic form. Following several ‘schools’ that have assembled under rubrics such as cultural techniques, media archaeology, and media ecology, the course also considers how these methods interface with other discursive frameworks that have emerged in the humanities in the last 15 years, including new materialisms, network theory, and affect theory. D. Fore, 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm Wednesday

GER 521/MED 521 Topics in German Intellectual History: Mysticism and Modernity
So-called ‘mystical’ forms of thought and experience have played a major role in the history of modern philosophy and literature from Hegel to Lukàcs, Heidegger, Bataille, and Derrida, and from Novalis to Musil, Celan, Bachmann, Klossowski, and Cage (to name just a few). In this seminar we will first read key medieval and baroque texts. Based on the class discussion and on individual student interests, we will then look into the ways how these texts have been read by 19th and 20th century authors and explore the impact they had on the discussion of modern concepts of subjectivity, affect, and agency. N. Largier, 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm Thursday

GER 526/MOD 533 Topics in German Literature: Science & Fiction
Lunar dreams, machine men, electrified life, human experiments and artificial intelligence — these topics lead us to the exploration of interactions between literary texts and scientific scenarios. By looking at the appropriation of scientific findings and experiments in literature, questions concerning the combination of literary elements (narrative, fiction, imagination) and scientific practices arise. Historical case studies, running the gamut from the modern era to the 20th century, are accompanied by methodological considerations concerning both the history of science and the relationship between literary and scientific discourses.
J. Vogl, 7:00 pm – 9:50 pm Tuesday

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