Germanic Languages | German Culture and Society
G464 | 15121 | Turk


Topic: Legacies of the Enlightenment

This course introduces you to the major artistic and cultural forces
that have shaped German life since the eighteenth century. It will
explore how the legacy of the Enlightenment with its universalistic
claim that the autonomous individual can determine its life and the
society it inhabits is questioned. We will read and debate key
passages from a broad variety of philosophic, sociologic and
psychoanalytic texts that are constitutive for the way we perceive the
world.

Hegel was the first to think that our identity is determined by what
it seemingly controls: the master depends on the slave. The course
will investigate how Karl Marx and the first sociologists further
question the individual and its self-determination, it will explore
Sigmund Freud’s claim that we suppress major parts of ourselves, and
trace Nietzsche’s critique of reason and language. These philosophical
reflections will serve as a background to our investigation of major
historical events and their filmic representation ranging from the
Holocaust to Terrorism.


Readings
Lessing: Nathan der Weise
Kant: Was ist Aufklärung
Hegel: Kapitel „Herr und Knecht“, Phänomenologie des Geistes
Marx: Kommunistisches Manifest
Nietzsche: Genealogie der Moral, Von Wahrheit und Lüge im
außermoralischen Sinn.
Freud: Kurzer Abriß der Psychoanalyse
Benjamin: Thesen zur Geschichte
Simmel: Die Großstädte und das Geistesleben, Der Flirt
Weber: Wissenschaft als Beruf
Schmitt: Der Partisan
Lyotard: The different
Shoshana Felman: The juridical Unconscious

Films
Lewis Milestone, Im Westen nichts Neues
Pabst: Geheimnisse einer Seele; Lulu
Fritz Lang: M-eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder
Louis Malle: Nuit et bruillard
Bernhard Wicki, Die Brücke
Andres Veiel, Black Box BRD

Textbooks
G. E. Lessing: Nathan der Weise, Reclam, 3-15-000003-3

Max Weber: Wissenschaft als Beruf, Reclam ISBN 3-15-009388-0

Friedrich Nietzsche, Zur Genealogie der Moral, Reclam, 3-15-007123-2

Kant, Erhard, Hamann, Herder etc. Was ist Aufklärung? Reclam,
3-15-009714-2