Honors | Representations of Violence (HON)
H303 | 14703 | Claudia Breger

TuTh 2:30-3:45pm

Topic: Representations of Violence

For many, German film history begins with Dr. Caligari’s deadly
powers, and some have even argued that the filmic imagination of
such horrors gives us access to the unconscious of a nation on its
way to fascism and the Holocaust. Recent film scholarship suggests
that things are not quite that simple, but these complications make
it even more interesting to study German cinema histories through
the lens of filmic violence. Looking at uncanny murderers, Nazis,
terrorists and so-called ordinary people, we investigate how we can
read filmic representations of violence in a historical context
shaped by the memory of the Holocaust as well as contemporary
processes of globalization. The course provides both an introduction
to German film – in its transnational contexts – and a more specific
investigation of how fictional films engage with the social. In
which ways do the filmic scenarios of violence articulate and shape
the fantasies of their directors and audiences? How do films help to
work through memories of violence? What is the role of film form in
these processes? The course discusses a range of films, both popular
and experimental, from the era of silent film into the 21st century.
The weekly film showing is an integral part of the class. Readings
provide background information on German film and history and
introduce students to key aspects of film theory. Assignments
include several academic papers and a creative group project,
probably the production of a short film. The course is taught in
English. It is offered for students in Germanic Studies,
Communication and Culture and the Honors College. Honors students
are expected to submit a more substantial research paper in place of
one of the regular academic papers.

Readings (available through campus bookstores):
Hake, Sabine. German National Cinema. Routledge 2001; ISBN:
0415089026 (paperback).
Hayward, Susan. Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts (Routledge Key
Guides; paperback). 3 edition (April 12, 2006). ISBN: 0415367824.
Additional Readings on e-reserve.