German drama from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. German history and culture as reflected in the plays. Discussion of major themes.
This course is designed as an introduction to representative works of German drama from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The plays we read range from the Enlightenment period (Lessing), German Classicism (Goethe, Schiller) and Romanticism (Grillparzer), Viennese Modernism (Schnitzler) to some more contemporary works (Canetti, Weiss). Students can expect to broaden their historical understanding of German drama and to sharpen their skills in analyzing a particular literary genre.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The course is conducted as a combination of lecture and discussion. A series of short introductory lectures on each of the plays will help to place them in their respective literary-historical and broader cultural contexts. They will also serve to outline major developments within German drama since the 18th century insofar they are relevant for our close readings of the plays. Class discussion will focus on questions of dramatic form and on the various issues raised by the individual texts.
Class assignments and grading
Basis on which grades will be assigned: class participation and oral report (30%), midterm (35%), take home final or 8-10 pager paper (35%).