Germanic Languages | Dutch Culture: Modern Netherlands
N350 | 26359 | Esther Ham

Fall 2005 2nd 8 weeks
N350:  Dutch Culture: Modern Netherlands
Topic: WWII, Film and literature

Taught in English; no prerequisites.  Course open to graduates and

For those seeking to understand the Netherlands, national taboos and
obsessions are a good place to start. These can best be gleaned from
Dutch literature, especially when you look at two themes that have
generally been dominant for the last 60 years: the relationship with
the (former) East Indian colony and the Second World War. This
course tries to give an idea why the war in Europe and Asia remain
important in Dutch literature for that long. The main focus will be
on The Netherlands, but we will look at parallels in other West
European countries also.

The course begins with an outline of the war, in Western Europe,
more specifically in The Netherlands,  and in the former Dutch East
Indies. Two Dutch novels will be read and abstracts from other
books. Furthermore, we will look critically at many films, the most
well known war movie from The Netherlands as well as some other
films, made in Europe.

Grading will entail: a couple of short papers, a final and a final

Harry Mulisch, The assault  (Publisher: Pantheon Books, ISBN

Jeroen Brouwers, Sunken Red (Publisher: New Amsterdam Books, ISBN 0-


Additional readings will be made available through handouts.