GERM-502 Exploring the Self
Spring for 2013-2014
The course investigates the particular contribution of the German literary tradition to the exploration of the self. In contrast to other European traditions, German literature can be viewed as focusing more pointedly on the experience of the individual rather than on depicting society at large. Starting with the first of two foundational texts (I. Kant, “Was ist Aufklärung?”), we will explore this perspective embedded in Germany’s cultural tradition leading to the challenge to enlightenment notions of individuality in F. Nietzsche’s “Über Wahrheit und Lüge…” and numerous literary texts of “classical” modernism. This perspective will guide our readings which are drawn exclusively from works of modern German literature associated with a traditional notion of the canon.
The course develops students’ sensibility towards the German literary and cultural traditions. The goal is to hone interpretive skills within a historical and systematic context and to have students develop the necessary written and spoken German to communicate such interpretation and their contexts in a convincing and appropriately complex style.
Other academic years
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