Germanic Languages | German Film and Popular Culture
G418 | 7605 | Wagner


In this course students will learn about the emergence of cinema in a
specifically German context.  From the early experiments of the
Skladanowsky Brothers to the Kino-Debatte to the heyday of Weimar
cinema, German films and film criticism played a crucial role in
shaping this 20th-century art form.  In the first half of the course,
we will consider cinema as a new technology and system of
representation, one that develops from a low cultural novelty to a
high cultural rival of literature, theater, photography, and painting.
In the second half of the course, we will consider cinema’s treatment
of some of the thematic concerns of Weimar Germany:  urban life,
gender, the economic crisis, and the specter of World War I.

Throughout the semester students will take on the guise of
contemporary cultural critics, writing biweekly reviews of the films,
staging short debates, and analyzing film sequences.

Readings will be in German and in English.  Class sessions will be
conducted in German.


Required Texts:
A Second Life:  German Cinema’s First Decades [ISBN-13:  978-9053561720]
Werkstatt Film [ISBN-13:  978-3883775975]
The Weimar Republic Sourcebook [ISBN-13:  978-0520067752]
Online Reader (available via E-reserves)