GER 386.3 • Enlightenment through Realism, 1730-1890
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
This course will provide a general survey of German literature from the early eighteenth through the late nineteenth century. We will examine the conventionally defined literary periods of the German tradition: Aufklärung, Empfindsamkeit, Sturm und Drang, Romantik, Klassik, Biedermeier, Junges Deutschland, Vormärz, Realismus. We will read and discuss texts from the main genres (prose, poetry, and drama) as well as cultural, social, or political essays from most of the periods in question. Our attention will be primarily on discussing the major thematic and formal shifts that occurred over the course of 160 years in the German literary tradition and understanding the development and work of individual authors in this context. Some of the thematic emphases we will explore include: the concept of Bürgertum and its relation to the family and gender relations, the notion of a public sphere, the sociology of literature and the growth of literary production, changing notions of the subject and the emerging idea of alienation, the fantastical and literary imagination, revolution and restoration, rationalism and science, national identity, modernization, and education. In addition, for the entire period we will consider a variety of issues that comprise what many scholars call the institution of literature. These include such diverse issues as the importance and influence of literary schools and circles, discussions about the autonomy of art, and the call for a national literature. We will also occasionally focus on key debates and internal literary arguments among intellectuals and authors during this period.
Two interpretations (orally presented) 10% + 5% = 15% Class participation = 15% Midterm = 30% Final = 30% Final written project = 10%