GER 306

German Intellectual History: Denial, Disavowal, Conspiracy

Spring 2022
T Th
3:00pm - 4:20pm

Why is it that we know something but don’t act accordingly? This question becomes urgent in the face of issues that require immediate action, like global-warming, meat-production, exploitative working conditions, sexual violence, racism. “Death is a master from Germany,” the poet Paul Celan wrote - given the long denial of the death-camps, we could also say: “Denial is a master from Germany.” This class traces a series of catastrophic (quasi-)events in German history and discusses global analogues. We will also turn our attention to conspiracy-theories, i.e., large-scale communities of denial that affirm alternative realities.