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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sabine Wilke
GERMAN 423
Seattle Campus

Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture:

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.

Class description

Spring 2008

In this course we will be studying the processes that are operative in literature and film and analyze what happens when you transform one into the other. We will start with an expressionist drama by Georg Kaiser, “Von morgens bis mitternachts” from 1917 and compare that with Karlheinz Martin’s expressionst film from 1920. What processes are at place when you take a drama that was written for the stage and convert it to a visually stunning silent film? This will be a challenging but rewarding exercise that will be accompanied by a set of background readings on film history and film theory (all in German). Our second set of documents is Thomas Mann’s novella “Mario und der Zauberer” from 1930 and Klaus Maria Brandauer’s film from 1994. What has to happen when a difficult and intricate prose text is transformed into film? Brandauer’s film is faulted by many critics for its many changes that we will analyze carefully on the example of a few scenes. Next is a set of documents from different time periods, Marieluise Fleisser’s “Pioniere in Ingolstadt” from 1928 and Fassbinder’s version from 1970. Again, here we will be analyzing drama into film but will also reflect on the time difference and how that effects different styles. Last but not least we will study Thomas Brussig’s novelle “Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee” and compare it with Hausmann’s popular movie version for which Brussig also wrote the screenplay.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Students will read all texts in German, watch the films in Odegaard Media Reserve, and participate actively in weekly discussion.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Stephanie N. Welch
Date: 02/07/2008