Rotating special topics in literature and culture of the twentieth century, such as particular movements, authors, genres, themes, or problems. Recommended: GERMAN 303; either GERMAN 311, GERMAN 312, GERMAN 322, or GERMAN 323.
Travel, Narration, Migration
Mobility, both physical and virtual, is a key feature of modernity. This course examines various forms of geographic mobility in 20th and 21st century German literature and journalistic travel writing. It deals with literary portraits of tourism and migration, contemporary road fiction, complex intercultural encounters, and non-fictional travel prose. We will discuss the mobile subjects inside and outside of texts and their different kinds of endeavors. Where are they going and why? What are their primary means of transportation? What are they observing and experiencing in the course of their being on the move? What are the boundaries crossed and the various contact zones that these texts envision? What are the cultural frameworks they draw upon and the formal means for representing diverse travel experiences and encounters? Primary texts and writers include Elias Canetti, Die Stimmen von Marrakesch ; Judith Herrmann, Nichts als Gespenster [2003; selections]; Wolfgang Herrndorf, Tschick ; Anna Kim, Invasionen des Privaten ; Joseph Roth, Hiob ; and Yoko Tawada, Wo Europa anfängt . Time permitting, we will also read brief excerpts from other writers.
Student learning goals
The course has two major goals, namely to broaden students’ knowledge of 20th/21st century German literature and to hone their skills in analyzing prose fiction as well as non-fictional prose.
General method of instruction
Lectures and discussion.
At least one 300-level core course (German 311, German 312, German 322)or permission of the instructor. Students should possess advanced German language skills. The course will be taught in German.
Class assignments and grading
Regular attendance, active participation, oral and written assignments, take-home final.