Office Hour: Tu & Th 12:30-1:50 PM and by appointment
Office: THH 353
Phone: (213) 740-2735
Reading List -Maierhofer, Waltraud & Astrid Klocke. Deutsche Literatur im Kontext:
1750-2000. Newburyport: Focus Publishing, 2009.
-Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Die Leiden des jungen Werther. A Dual
Language Book. Mineola: Dover Publications, 2004
WELCOME TO Colloquium on German Prose! Course description Rebellion or Revolution?!
Resistance against traditional norms, authority figures, society and the political system is of course a force that has shaped human history. When we think of organized efforts to change power structures, revolutions in the political realm, what associations come to mind? 18th century France and America or 20th century Russia and China? What about revolutionary tendencies in the German-speaking world?
This course is going to provide you with a broad and interesting survey of German prose from the 18th century to the present with an emphasis on narrative and thematic perspectives in relation to social change. We will focus on themes of societal revolution (in a traditional political, economical, cultural sense) and of personal rebellion – as political act, in which individuals, groups and marginalized segments of society try to express themselves and to shape public life and discourse.
We will cover a wide variety of writers. While we will analyze literary texts in class, you will “sharpen” your tools needed for the analysis of such works - we will investigate the context in which the texts were conceived (the historical, religious, scientific and societal environment) and discuss the implications of the works in question. Our inquiry will take us online, to the screen and of course involve “old-fashioned” print sources. All selected course materials are designed to help enhance linguistic competence and cultural & historical awareness in preparation for our classroom meetings. Most texts are short (or are excerpts only) and provide the springboard for the promotion of literary analysis, discussions, and other (creative) classroom activities.
Objectives This course is going to:
tickle your literature “taste buds” by introducing a variety of German prose written in the past three and a half centuries
expand your knowledge of German literature (literary periods, authors and works) and the cultural and historical context in which it was conceived- so that you can describe the major historical events/intellectual trends of the period and assess the impact they had on past and present intellectual life and discourse.
improve your German language proficiency by expanding your
explore periods in German (literary) history and be actively involved in asking research questions and in analyzing specific texts and contexts.
create your personal interpretation of a literary work in German.
become more familiar with scholarly methods and discriminate between reliable and less reliable resources
Requirements and grading Attendance/Participation. Class attendance is essential. Please take attendance and participation serious. Not only does participation (including your presentations) count a third of the final grade, you will also profit a lot more from the course - the more students are in class and participate in the discussion, the more interesting and stimulating the class meeting will be. If you cannot attend, please notify me or the department of your absence before class. If you have to miss a class period due to illness, you are expected to cover the assignment for the missed class and come fully prepared to the next session. Written excuses for class are assigned for medical reasons only. More than two unexcused absences will affect final grades. For each additional absence your grade will drop by half a grade.
A. A number of preparatory reading assignments (of short texts), which will be important for our discussions in class. (Please take notes and prepare questions!)
B. Essays (3): Topics will normally be assigned on Thursdays and are due the following Tuesday. The minimum length of each composition is one and a half typed double-spaced pages (plus. A second draft is mandatory. No exceptions are made and no late work will be accepted.
C. Online Reading Journal. Every student collects her/his impressions (questions, comments) of the readings/films in a journal/blog) and responds to other blog posts. You will also have the opportunity to shape the curriculum by posting additional relevant information on reading material/movies on the blog that you have come about in your research or in other classes.
D. 3-Minute Presentations. These presentations are not formal presentations but rather short commentaries about an article/literary text or topic that will serve as an introduction to the class discussion that day or short “panel discussions” where the pros and cons of an issue are debated. Each student will be responsible for two of these mini-presentations. Please base your analysis on research to present the class with well-founded arguments.
E. Presentation. Each student will deliver an oral presentation about a literary text of their choosing. The text will be a literary work that will not be covered in class. You are the “expert” and will introduce your classmates to the topic. You may use a PowerPoint presentation for visual material but while relating the info to the other course participants you should not read from the PowerPoint. The goal of the presentation is to teach the class in an interactive mode as much as possible about the subject, and to also include your creative/personal commentary about the literary work. The presentation should be about 15-20 minutes in length. A handout/bibliography has to accompany the presentation.
F. Portfolio. Each student is responsible for an individual portfolio. This will consist of all the essays and projects, the presentation write-up, and a final statement about your learning experience.
G. Midterm. You will be tested on key concepts as they relate to literature, history, philosophy, religion and culture we have covered in class. The midterm will include identification and short-answer questions based on the material and texts read as well as essay questions.
H. Final/Project. The final will consist of a short in class test similar to the ID and short question section of the midterm and a your final project which is based on your presentation topic. You will include a write up of the overview of the author and text that was part of your presentation (2 pages) and a paper where you will expand your research by posing a research question and analysis plus bibliography (4-5 pages). You will also include a survey of secondary literature related to that text. Last but not least you will include a more creative project/personal commentary that connects your academic knowledge of the text with your personal/creative interests and feedback to what you’ve learned about this text. More info will be provided in class.
PROJECT and PORTFOLIO DUE: Monday, Dec. 9th Noon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A 94 – 100 C 74 – 76
90 – 93 C- 70 – 73
B+ 87 – 89 D+ 67 – 69
B 84 – 86 D 63 – 66
80 – 83 D- 60 – 62
C+ 77 –79 F 59 and under
Reading Journal/Blog 10%
Final/Project & Portfolio 20%
3-minute presentations 10%
Academic Integrity The German Program and department of Russian Languages and Literatures take the university Student Code of Conduct very seriously. It is expected that all of the written work that you submit, as well as the ideas expressed therein, are your own. The University Student Code of Conduct prohibits all forms of academic dishonesty. In compliance with this policy, no form of cheating will be tolerated. At the instructor's discretion, students who are believed to be violating this policy will be questioned immediately. Possible consequences include a failing grade (F) on the assignment, course failure, and/or referral to judiciaries. This code applies to ALL aspects of this course.
Examples of Academic Misconduct include, but are not limited to: