Courses

Spring 2015

GER511 Topics in German Literature in the 17th Century: Was ist barock?
The concept of the “Baroque” emerges as the belated reaction to a change that took place with regard to the idea of the Renaissance. The seminar will thus start with the questions of defining epoch and style. As the Baroque is one of the first transcultural phenomena, we will add to our readings of German Baroque those of Shakespeare and Caldéron. This broadly “cultural” character also means that the Baroque cannot be restricted to a narrowly textual phenomenon; the Baroque, rather, is multimedia in character. Hence, we will complement our readings of literature and philosophy with excursions into the fine arts and musical performance.
B. Nagel, Monday, 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm

GER 515/COM 512 Studies in 19th-Century Literature and Culture: The Art of the Plot
Though plotters and intriguers usually are up to no good their scheming is closely related to the art of drama and narrative. Storytellers and dramatists create entanglements, set snares and tie knots which then somehow have to be disentangled and untied. The Aristotelian notion of plot (mythos) as “construction of events” thus encompasses the two complementary operations of desis and lysis, “complication” and “denouement”. The seminar will examine plot structures, figures of the intriguer, metaphors of intriguing and their transformation in tragedies and historical dramas from Greek antiquity to German literature of the early 19th century.
Inka Mülder-Bach, Wednesday, 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm

GER 516 Topics in 20th-Century Literature: The Future: A 20th Century Problem
Modern, German-language literature, from the turn of the century through the 1970’s, has been shaped by the problem of how to think and write the future tense. The end of the 19th century coincides, in the German-speaking world, with the end of a teleological approach to time that views history as a journey toward future fulfillment. The question of how to affirm a tempus that need bear no meaningful relationship to the will–and thus also the question of whether purposeful change can still be legitimately narrated or staged–determines technical innovations from Hugo von Hofmannsthal to Thomas Bernhard.
S. Pourciau, Thursday, 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm

GER 517/MOD 500/MUS 521/Com 523 Modernism and Modernity: Signal to Noise –
Vicissitudes of the Acoustic

Insisting on the (long-ignored) importance of the acoustic in fields such as film & media studies, architecture, literature, art history, and cultural theory, this seminar will interrogate sound as a testing ground for key socio-political shifts such as globalism, digitization, etc. Exploring the role of sound within histories of (post-)modernity, it will examine technologies of production, transmission and reception; the geo-political roles and uses of sonic materials; the dynamics of social and individual modalities of acoustic experience, and the challenges posed by sound to the theoretical hegemony of certain models of “representation.”
T. Levin, Tuesday, 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm

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