Modern German Literature and Film


In this course, we will explore modern German literature and culture from the end of the 19th century through the Weimar Republic. We will analyze literary texts from the pre-World War I era by such writers as Hauptmann, Thomas Mann, Döblin, Kafka, and Hermann Hesse. Another major focus of this course will lie on the literary, cinematic, and artistic expressions of the so-called “Golden Twenties” during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933). Irmgard Keun’s Berlin novel, Das Kunstseidene Mädchen, Brecht’s Three Penny Opera, and films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, and Der blaue Engel will help us understand this fascinating period that ended with Hitler’s rise to power. By means of a Nazi propaganda film, Jud Süss, we will explore the paranoid anti-Semitism of the National Socialists. This course consists of three equally important components: Students will have one seminar with Mr. Dollinger, who will discuss the class materials in German; one seminar with Ms. Mizelle, who will work with students collectively on various grammar and vocabulary issues; and one biweekly individual conference with Mr. Dollinger. Seminar conducted entirely in German. Students must demonstrate advanced language skills during registration in order to be permitted into this class.