German Culture & Society

AP/GER 1790 and AP/HUMA 1190 Nationalism, Authority and Resistance: Perspectives on German Culture and Society

Germany might exemplify the problems, conflicts, and possibilities of the modern world better than any other single state. It has careened from an open democracy to brutal dictatorship, been united, divided, and united again in a little over 100 years, embraced the rational optimism of the Enlightenment and the racism of Nazi Germany culminating in the Holocaust. This course examines cultural representations of contemporary and historical Germany from an interdisciplinary perspective. Examining cultural, political and social discourses, we will consider the tensions that have characterized "Germany" historically and in the present day through the lens of texts that include e.g. literature, film, art, journalistic and political writing. Particular attention will be paid to: Nationalism and multiculturalism, authority and resistance, competing visions of democracy or freedom, religion and rationalism, the role of Germany in Europe and the world, and the effect of the past on contemporary German society.

NOTE: The course is offered entirely in English and assumes no knowledge of German.