Germanic Languages | German Film and Popular Culture
G418 | 2627 | Sieg


Three credit hour course; 2:30-3:45, TR in BH 134 and 7:00-9:15P, T in BH 322.

Ten years after German reunification we want to trace how that event was
orchestrated in the form of a media spectacle.  We will investigate film and
television representations of the Fall of the Wall as well as other mass and
popular genres such as cartoons and crime fiction.  Themes to be examined will
include the resurgence of German nationalism, the intensification of
xenophobia, the ongoing debates about the role of women in society, and
economic inequities.  We will try to understand the ideological function of
popular culture to unify Germans that had been divided during the cold war, as
well as ask how some popular texts criticize the emerging "new order" in
regard to gender, sexuality, and ethnicity/race.  The course format will
comprise lecture segments and discussion of readings.  Regular in-class
writing assignments (in German) will test comprehension of the reading
material. One in-class exam will ask you to analyze the historical context and
consequences of reunification (in German).  One paper will be synthetic,
asking you to discuss one of the main concepts or images used in public
discourse to advocate reunification in relation to a number of different texts
(in German).  A second paper will ask you to undertake additional research not
covered by the course but related to its conceptual frame (in English).

Texts:
(+) Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, ICH BIN MEINE EIGENE FRAU
(+) Christa Wolf, WAS BLEIBT
(+) Cornelia Arnhold, RIFIFI