Roland Dollinger

BA, University of Augsburg, Germany. MA, University of Pittsburgh. PhD, Princeton University. Special interest in 20th-century German and Austrian literature; author of Totalität und Totalitarismus: Das Exilwerk Alfred Döblins and several essays and book reviews on 19th- and 20th-century German literature; co-editor of Unus Mundus: Kosmos and Sympathie, Naturphilosophie, and Philosophia Naturalis. SLC, 1989–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

German

Beginning German

Open , Seminar—Year

This course concentrates on the study of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation in order to secure the basic tools of the German language. Through grammar exercises in class, dialogues, and short compositions, students will learn the fundamental skills to speak, read, and write in German. This class will meet three times (90 minutes) per week: twice with Mr. Dollinger and once with Ms. Mizelle, who will also meet with students individually or in small groups for an extra conference. Course materials include the textbook, Neue Horizonte, along with a workbook and a graded German reader that will allow students to start reading in German after the first week. We will cover at least 12 chapters from the textbook—all of the basic grammar and vocabulary that students will need to know in order to advance to the next level. There will be short written tests at the end of each chapter. Students will also learn basic facts about Germany today.

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Literature

Modern German Literature and Film From 1871 to the Present

Open , Seminar—Year

In this course, students will learn about the major cultural and historical developments in Germany since the late 19th century through an in-depth analysis of many masterpieces of modern German literature (novels, stories, plays) and film. Germany has seen five different political systems since its modern inception as a nation state in 1871: an aristocracy ruled by the German emperor, the Weimar Republic, the Nazi dictatorship, a divided Germany with a Socialist government in the East, and the creation of a reunified Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990. While this is NOT a history course, students will be required to accompany their analyses of German literary and cinematic masterworks with a reading of primary and secondary historical and philosophical sources. In the fall semester, we will cover the period between 1871 and 1945; in the spring semester, the emphasis will be on postwar German literature and film since 1945. This seminar is open to all students, and no expertise in German history or literature is required; however, students will be asked to read a novel or play every week, some of which may be several-hundred pages long. You must be a dedicated reader! The preliminary reading list includes the following works of literature and film for the fall of 2017: Florian Illies: 1913; Theodor Fontane: On Tangled Paths; Rilke: The Diary of Malte Laurids Brigge; Hermann Hesse: Siddartha; Thomas Mann: Death in Venice and Other Stories; Franz Kafka: The Judgment, The Hunger Artist; Alfred Döblin: Berlin Alexanderplatz; Ernst Jünger: excerpts from Storm of Steel; Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front; Irmgard Keun: The Artificial Silk Girl; Berthold Brecht: The Three Penny Opera; Anna Seghers: The Seventh Cross. In the spring semester, the seminar will focus on postwar German literature after 1945 and, especially, the question of how writers and intellectuals have dealt with the Holocaust, the National Socialist and Communist dictatorships, and German reunification since 1990. Films such as The Murderers Are Among Us, Sophie Scholl, Germany Pale Mother, The Lives of the Others, and Good-bye Lenin will give students visual representations of the most important cultural and historical issues in Germany since 1945. Novels and plays include: Heinrich Böll: Group Portrait With Lady; Günther Grass: Crabwalk; Wolfgang Borchert: The Man Outside; Max Frisch: Andorra; Jurek Becker: Jacob the Liar; Monika Maron: Pavel’s Letters; Schlink: The Reader; Sebald: Austerlitz; Jenny Erpenbeck: Go, Went, Gone; Antje Ravic Strubel: Under Snow. German-speaking students may read some of these works in the original German and will meet with the German assistant, Nike Mizelle, once a week to improve their speaking and writing skills in German. Their conferences will also be conducted in German.

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Previous Courses

Postwar German Literature and Film

Advanced , Seminar—Fall

Seminar conducted entirely in German. Students must demonstrate advanced language skills during registration in order to be permitted into this class.

In this seminar, we will focus on postwar German literature from 1945 to the present. As we read poems, plays, prose fiction, and essays by writers such as Anonyma, Borchert, Böll, Celan, Dürrenmatt, Max Frisch, Peter Weiss, Bernhard Schlink, and others, we will give special attention to: (1) social and cultural problems in Germany right after the war; (2) how German writers have dealt with National Socialism and The Holocaust; and (3) German reunification. We will also watch films such as Mörder unter uns, one of the earliest movies in Germany after WWII; Deutschland, bleiche Mutter, about life in Germany during and after World War II; Das Leben der Anderen, a film about the secret police in East Germany; Gegen die Wand, a movie that explores the lives of German-Turkish citizens in Germany and Turkey; and Walk on Water, an Israeli-German production about the legacy of The Holocaust for young Israelis and Germans. 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.

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Contemporary German Literature and Film Since 1989

Advanced , Seminar—Spring

Seminar conducted entirely in German. Students must demonstrate advanced language skills during registration in order to be permitted into this class.

In this seminar, we will focus on contemporary German literature and film since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. As we read plays, prose fiction, and essays by writers such as Sven Regener, Thomas Brussig, Ingo Schulze, Christian Kracht, Clemens Meyer, Maxim Biller, Bernhard Schlink, Judith Hermann, Doris Dörrie, and Zafer Senocak, we will give special attention to: (1) social and cultural conflicts in Germany in the wake of German reunification; (2) how German writers deal with the double burden of National Socialism and East German communism; and (3) “existential” questions facing ordinary Germans today. We will also watch several famous films—such as Herr Lehmann, Am kuerzeren Ende der Sonnenallee, Das Leben der Anderen, Good-bye Lenin, and Barbara—that will introduce us both humorously and tragically into the lives of Germans behind the “Iron Curtain.” 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.

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First-Year Studies: An Introduction to German Literature and Film from the 18th Century to the Present

Open , FYS—Year

In this course, students will learn about the major cultural and historical developments in Germany since the late 18th century through an in-depth analysis of masterpieces of German literature (novels, stories, plays) and film. In the fall semester, we will analyze German “classics”—such as Lessing’s Nathan the Wise, Goethe’s Faust (I) and The Sorrows of Young Werther, Hölderlin’s Hyperion, Romantic fairy tales, the 19th-century novella, and some modern texts by Hesse, Thomas Mann, and Rilke. We will also watch two Expressionist movies from the 1920s (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis) and finish the term with a critical reading of some Nazi propaganda literature in order to understand the main ideological tenets of National Socialism. In the spring semester, the seminar will focus on postwar German literature (after 1945) and, especially, the question of how writers and intellectuals have dealt with The Holocaust, the National Socialist and Communist dictatorships, and German reunification since 1990. Films such as The Murderers Are Among Us, The Marriage of Maria Braun, The Lives of the Others, and Good-bye Lenin will give students visual representations of the most important cultural and historical issues since 1945. Along with these stories, plays, novels, and movies, students will read some historiographical materials (essays and selected chapters from history books) to gain a fundamental understanding of German history. Since this is an FYS class, other important goals include helping students with the transition to college life, developing good study habits, and improving their critical writing skills.

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Intermediate German

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

Prerequisite: Beginning German at Sarah Lawrence College or another institution of higher learning or at least four semesters of German in high school.

This course stresses speaking, reading, and writing German and a thorough review of German grammar. Its aim is to give students more fluency and to prepare them for a possible junior year in Germany. Readings in the fall will consist of fairy tales, short stories, poems, and three novellas by the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. Students will give several oral presentations (on a fairy tale, on a German city, on a German artist or intellectual). In the spring semester, we will use Im Spiegel der Literatur, a collection of short stories written by some of the most famous German writers such as Thomas Mann and Bertolt Brecht. A solid grammar review, based on the book German Grammar in Review, will help students improve their speaking and writing skills. Regular conferences with Ms. Mizelle will supplement class work.

Faculty

Advanced German: Modern German Literature and Film

Advanced , Seminar—Spring

Seminar conducted entirely in German. Students must demonstrate advanced language skills during registration in order to be permitted into this class.

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.

Faculty

Advanced German: Postwar German Literature and Film

Advanced , Seminar—Fall

This seminar is conducted entirely in German. Students must demonstrate advanced language skills during registration in order to be permitted into this class.

In this seminar, we will focus on postwar German literature from 1945 to the present. As we read poems, plays, prose fiction, and essays by writers such as Anonyma, Borchert, Böll, Celan, Dürrenmatt, Max Frisch, Peter Weiss, Bernhard Schlink, and others, we will give special attention to the problems of: (1) social and cultural problems in Germany right after World War II, (2) how German writers have dealt with National Socialism and the Holocaust, (3) German reunification, and (4) German-Turkish issues. We will also watch films such as Mörder unter uns, one of the earliest movies in Germany after World War II; Deutschland, bleiche Mutter, a film about life in Germany during and after World War II; Das Leben der Anderen, a film about the secret police in East Germany; Gegen die Wand, a movie that explores the lives of German-Turkish citizens in Germany and in Turkey; and Walk on Water, an Israeli-German production about the legacy of the Holocaust for young Israelis and Germans. This course consists of three equally important components: Students will have one seminar with Mr. Dollinger, who will discuss the class materials with students 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.

Faculty

Modern German Literature and Film

Advanced , Seminar—Fall

Seminar conducted entirely in German. Students must demonstrate advanced language skills during registration in order to be permitted into this class.

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.

Faculty