German Literature in the 18th Century: German Letters and Revolution 1789-1808
The upheaval in France beginning in 1789 was as much an historical as a literary and philosophical event, provoking an unprecedented spate of responses. Salient issues studied in this course include the nature of social demise, limits of state power, uses and disadvantages of freedom, and dangers of a violent contagion. Of concern will be the use of literary texts as tools for responding to revolution. The course will also explore the echoes of the Haitian Revolution in contemporary journalistic and philosophical texts.