Germanic Languages | German Cultural History
E322 | 12926 | Wagner

Topic - Inside/Outside:  Being German after 1989

Fall 2009 (2nd 8 Weeks)
In this course, we will look at some of the challenges to defining
German identity after 1989.  Taking films as a point of departure for
thinking about spatial and temporal anxieties, we will consider the
ways in which both German unification and the European Union have
changed the discourse on self/Other, transnationalism,
multiculturalism, Eastern vs. Western Europe, Ostalgia vs. Westalgia,
citizenship, Berlin, and historical geography.  In addition, we will
ask how cinema and audiovisual media generally construct or disrupt
the contemporary experience of national belonging.

Students will write a number of position papers (500 words) responding
to the problems raised by competing representations of ‘Germanness’
and will, at the end of the semester, develop these ideas further in
an innovative take-home exam.

No prior study of film or German is required.

Required Texts:
Germany in Transit [ISBN-13:  978-0520248946]
Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities:  Reflections on the Origin
and Spread of Nationalism, Rev. Ed. [ISBN-13:  978-1844670864]

Cross-list with:
WEST European Studies
Communication and Culture