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Middle High German Literature II: Fifteenth-Century Book Culture of the German-Speaking World
Team-taught seminar focuses on history of the book in German speaking regions with a specific focus on the 15th century, an age of both increased manuscript production and the invention of print. Students explore book-making both in manuscript and early print form, examining how these forms converged and diverged with the advent of new technologies. In addition to the basics of manuscript and early print book archival research, the seminar explores the 15th-c. historical context (late medieval devotion, gender and the book, reformation). Final project on manuscript or early book in the Princeton collection, resulting in on-line exhibit.
Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory: Critical Race Theory and German Thought
In revisiting key junctures of German intellectual history in the light of critical race theory, this seminar has five goals: 1) to examine concepts of race in classical German thought (Kant, Herder, Hegel) and question their premises; 2) to study pseudo-scientific discourses on race in German colonialism and totalitarianism; 3) to engage with recent debates on the singularity of the Shoah vs. comparative genocide studies; 4) to read literary texts with an eye to symptomatic racializations; and 5) to explore how texts in contemporary Black studies engage with and critically transform German thought.
COM 509 ENG 516
Topics in German Intellectual History: Melancholia and Critique
Since its early designation as a “saturnine” temperament, melancholia has been regarded as a highly ambivalent phenomenon. Torn between madness and enlightenment, it is the temperament of intellectuals and artists. In this line, melancholy aligns itself with criticism through its distance from society’s ideas of happiness, or its sense of the decay of all things - including man-made orders. In a different light, however, it appears less heroic: as neurotic auto-aggression, or as resigned apathy. The seminar explores the tension between the critique of melancholia and the melancholia of critique.
MOD 523 HUM 523
Topics in German Media Theory & History: Media Theory since 2000
This seminar offers a critical survey of recent trends in media theory with an eye to their relevance to questions of aesthetic form and of representation in general. We focus specifically on six approaches around which work in media theory has coalesced in the last two decades: cultural techniques, disability studies, media archaeology, elemental media, network theory, and assemblage theory.