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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: German Studies

Wanderlust and Fernweh: German Cultures of Mobility from Goethe to Wolfsburg

Academic Year 2018-19

The course aims to introduce the students to key concepts of German Romanticism (Fernweh and Wanderlust), and to enable them to engage in close, critical and theoretically-led analyses of central works of German literary and film culture that engage with questions of mobility.

This course will examine the significance which the tropes of Wanderlust and Fernweh have had in German culture from the late eighteenth century to the present, by taking a series of works from literature and film and investigating the journeys they present in terms of, for example, a) the traveller and their mode of travel, b) the quest for, and experience of, happiness and pleasure, both material and spiritual and c) the encounter with the ‘other’. Examples of works that will be studied may include Goethe’s Italienische Reise, Heine’s Die Harzreise, Thomas Mann’s Der Tod in Venedig, Wim Wenders’s road movies of the 1970s and 1980s, Christian Petzold’s Wolfsburg and Angela Schanelec’s Orly.


Dr Simon Ward (, room ER211, Elvet Riverside II

Further details of pre-requisites, co-requisites, aims, contact hours and assessment