GER 526

Topics in German Literature: The Plagues of Literature

Fall 2021
7:30pm - 9:50pm

The link between plague and social catastrophe has shadowed the history of Western literature since the Iliad — as a theme, a liminal experience and a challenge to representation. These conjunctures call up a spectrum of related problematics and inquiries: the role of medical knowledge, the relationship between infection and immunity, our reservoir of metaphors and images of the epidemic, the aesthetics of terror, states of emergency and enclaves of protection. The seminar focuses on literary sources from antiquity to the recent present.