GERM-708-01 Remembering Heimat II - Imagining the Nation
Spring for 2015-2016
The German notion of ‘Heimat’ is linked to a specific geographical site while notions of the (German) nation transcend local sites and posit collective identities alternatively rooted in language and culture, history, ethnicity, or ‘race’. The two-part course sequence explores notions of ‘Heimat’ and the ‘nation’ at a number of pivotal moments in German cultural history.
The first course – which is recommend but not required for taking the second one -- examines notions of Heimat and the German nation as they emerged around 1800 and evolved in the early 19th century.
This second course explores how notions of Heimat and Germanness changed in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust. We will look briefly at the early post-war period, but special attention will be given to literature, film, and culture in the pre- and post-unification periods (1970-present). While topics that were considered in the first course continue to play a role (i.e., gendered notions of Heimat/nation; issues of inclusion/exclusion), the overarching questions of this second course are: to what extent and with what effects are national and, more recently, transnational forces counteracted by a revival of local identities and geographically bounded notions of belongingt? How can we approach the complex sentiment of nostalgia – and what is its relationship to memory, identity, utopia, regression/repression, and irony? And, finally, what is the analytical value of the notion of Heimat in the context of post/modernity and changing notions of space and place?
Other academic years
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