Love & Death in Modern German Literature
This module will be available in 2012-13
About this Module
This module provides an introduction to the problem of death and mortality in a secular culture and the compensatory role that (mainly erotic) love comes to play in the absence of belief in an afterlife in the modern condition. The module introduces you to major authors in literature, film and thought from the Enlightenment to Modernism. You will develop a sophisticated knowledge of the religious tradition and secular modern reflection thereon, both in general terms and in terms of the particular German traditions. Short texts (thought, lyrics and novellas) will be studied by authors including Ariès, Dollimore and Freud, also Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, Novalis, Clemens Brentano, E.T.,A. Hoffmann, Keller, Hofmannsthal and Kafka, also Bram Stoker and the films of Murnau, Neil Jordan, Coppola and others. The canon may vary according to student wishes.
Teaching and Learning
NB: the course will be taught as a 'Short fat module' in Terms 2 and 3 of 2012-13.
It will consist of seminars structured around student presentations, and will involve bi-weekly plenary sessions and a weekly seminar. The module will be taught primarily in German and assessed in German. Preparation of presentations, a weekly programme of reading, and participation in seminars will encourage you to broaden their knowledge base and improve your skills of analysis, argumentation, interpretation, team work and presentation. Attendance will be monitored in all teaching sessions. This module will be capped at 30.
- 1500-word commentary in German (25%)
- 3,500-word commentary/essay in German (75%)
The module Reader includes texts for the first half of the seminar: brief extracts from Lessing's Wie die Alten den Tod gebildet and Laocoön, Schiller, 'Die Götter Griechenlands', Goethe, Werther and 'Die Braut von Korinth', Novalis, Hymnen an die Nacht and 'Hymne', Zacharias Werner, 'Wer schleicht mit der Fackel', and Clemens Brentano, 'Lore lay'. Students should obtain this and read it before the seminar begins.
Students should purchase texts for the second half of the seminar, Stoker's Dracula, Keller's 'Regine' (from Das Sinngedicht), Hofmannsthal's 'Märchen der 672. Nacht', and Kafka's 'Der Jäger Gracchus'/'Im Hafen'.
Professor Nicholas Saul (firstname.lastname@example.org), room A43, Elvet Riverside I.