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Peter Hess

Associate ProfessorPh.D., German Literature, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Associate Professor, Department Chair
Peter Hess


  • Phone: 512-232-6352
  • Office: BUR 336B
  • Office Hours: Spring 2011 - T / Th 2:00-3:30
  • Campus Mail Code: C3300


EUS 346 • Hist Backgrounds Of German Civ

36400 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GEA 114
(also listed as GER 340C)

Please check back for updates.

EUS 346 • Hist Backgrounds Of German Civ

36280 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GEA 114
(also listed as GER 340C)

Please check back for updates.

EUS 306 • Luther's World

36400 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm JES A203A
(also listed as GRC 301)

Please check back for updates.

EUS 346 • Hist Backgrounds Of German Civ

36455 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GEA 114
(also listed as GER 340C)


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Course Number:           GER 340C: German Culture, 1200-1800 (38415)

Crosslisting:                  EUS 346 (36455)

Semester:                     Fall 2009 (T/Th 1230-2:00), GEA 114

Instructor:                     Peter Hess (BUR 356; 232-6362;

Office Hours:                T/Th 2-3:30, and by appointment





Beginning with the development of medieval cities and concluding with the French Revolution, this course focuses on the historical, cultural, and literary development of German-speaking Europe. Political, social, religious, economic, and philosophical developments as well as architecture, art, music, and literature of the time period will be discussed. History will not be discussed in terms of specific events but rather in terms of large-scale developments and factors that contributed to them; focus will be on cultural history. Most importantly, we will learn to understand how Germany's past helped shape the Germany we know today.


You will be assigned daily readings and should expect to turn in at least one homework assignment per week. Some assignments will require group work (work in groups is generally encouraged). You also should expect one or two additional assignments that will require you to visit the Blanton Museum of Art and the HRC. You are expected to read the relevant pages in the textbook and/or the materials posted on Blackboard in preparation for every class. One objective of this course is vocabulary building: you will receive lists with vocabulary taken from the reading assignment, and you are expected to be able to use that vocabulary in your homework and during exams. This course will be taught in German, but any motivated student with at least four semesters of college German can take this course. More than two unexcused absences may result in a lower grade.




Cell phones must be turned off in class; computers may be used only for note-taking or to search course-related materials. If a student uses electronic devices for non-class related activities and creates a disturbance s/he will be asked to leave for the remainder of that class.




Academic Assistance is provided by the UT Learning Center, in Jester Center, Room A332A. It offers help with college-level writing, reading, and learning strategies. It is free to all currently enrolled students. For requesting help you need in using the main library (PCL) or the Fine Arts Library (for films), see:





The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY. Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact the Service for Students with Disabilities as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations. This letter must be given to your instructor to receive accommodations. See:




Students can make up work missed because of a religious holiday as long as they provide the instructor with documentation at least one week before the holiday occurs. The same applies to official university obligations like Club or Varsity sports. Documentation from a physician is required for medical absence;  arrangements for work to be made up must be made promptly, and in no case should the work be completed more than two weeks after the absence. Other absences (e.g. family events) must be arranged for at least one week in advance and missed work must be turned in at the next class session after return.




Plagiarism and other forms of scholastic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Students. Cheating on tests or plagiarism on  papers is an F for the assignment, with no makeup possible.  If you engage in any form of scholastic dishonesty more than once, you will receive an automatic F for the course.




Hans-Georg Hofacker and Thomas Schuler.

Geschichtsbuch 2: Das Mittelalter und die frühe Neuzeit. Berlin: Cornelsen, 1994.

ISBN 3-464-64202-X


Hilke Günther-Arndt and Jürgen Kocka.

Geschichtsbuch 3: Vom Zeitalter des Absolutismus bis zum Ende des Ersten Weltkrieges. Berlin: Cornelsen, 1995.

ISBN 3-464-64203-8




homework                                                                                10%

class participation (incl. in-class group work notes)                    10%

class presentation (in German)                                       15%

three short papers (2-3 pages)                                                  15%

three hourly exams (15+15+20%)                                             50%

GER 340C: German Culture, 1200-1800 (38415)

Fall 2009





27.8.         Einführung (Thema, Lehrplan, Lesestrategie)


I. Kultur des Mittelalters


1.9.                "Hinweise zur Benutzung" (5)

Bauern und Adlige im Mittelalter

"Adel und Lehnswesen" (19)

"Die Welt der Ritter und Edelfrauen" (21-23)

"Die mittelalterliche Ständeordnung" (26-27)

Der Bauernhof (18)

H: Arbeitsblatt: Welt der Ritter

G: 26-27: Ständeordnung


3.9.           Höfische Kultur und Klosterkultur

     *   Walther von der Vogelweide: Ich saß auf einem Steine

                      *   Walther von der Vogelweide: Unter den Linden

                      *   Carmina Burana: "O fortuna"; "In taberna"


8.9.           Alltagsleben in der Stadt im Spätmittelalter

"Hinter den Stadtmauern" (33)

"Die Entstehung der Städte" (34-36)

"Arbeit und Handel in der Stadt" (37-38)

H: Arbeitsblatt: Entstehung der Städte


10.9.         Die soziale Gliederung der Stadt

"Gesellschaft und Herrschaft in der Stadt" (40-42)

"Zentren des Fernhandels in Europa" (45-47)

H: Arbeitsblatt: Herrschaft in der Stadt

G: Rollenspiel: der Kaiser besucht die Stadt (40-42)


15.9.         Kunst und Kultur im Mittelalter

"Stadtspiel" (51)

*   Oswald von Wolkenstein: "Ach senliches Leiden"

*   Oswald von Wolkenstein: "Nu huss"

R: Oswald von Wolkenstein


17.9.         Europa im Umbruch (1350-1450)

"Europa um 1500: Krise und Neubeginn" (125)

"Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft" (126-130)

"Aufbau einer Handelsgesellschaft um 1500 (131-132)

H: Arbeitsblatt: Berufsleben im 15. Jahrhundert

R: die Pest

G: 130 "Großunternehmen" pro/kontra; 131/1; 131/2a; 132/2b-c; 132/3


22.9.              "Der Staat zwischen Mittelalter und Neuzeit" (134-136)

"Vom Alltag des Volkes" (140-142)

G: Lebensabschnitte, Lebensentscheidungen (140-142)


24.9.         ERSTE PRÜFUNG


II. Humanismus und Renaissance


29.9.         Neues Weltbild von Humanismus und Renaissance

"Humanismus und Renaissance" (145-147)

"Bewusstsein von Zeit und Raum" (151-152)

H: Arbeitsblatt: Was ist Humanismus?

G: 148/1a-c; 148/1d; 149/1e; 133/4a; 133/4b

R: Erasmus

R: Albrecht Dürer


1.10.         Kultur und Wissenschat von Renaissance und Humanismus

"Der Bergbau im 16. Jahrhundert" (133/129)

G: 148/1a-c; 148/1d; 149/1e; 133/4a; 133/4b

R: Kopernicus / Heliozentrismus


"Kunst und Technik" (148-150; 153)

"Sprichwörterrätsel" (155)

***      Blanton Hausaufgabe: Kunst der Renaissance


6.10.         Humanistische Literatur

*   Conrad Celtis: "An Apollo"

*   Hans Sachs: "Das Schlauraffen Landt"

*   Matthias Holtzwart: Emblematum tyrocinia (Auszug)

R: Conrad Celtis

R: Emblem                  


8.10               *   Hermann Bote: Dil Ulenspiegel

H: Arbeitsblatt: Botes Ulenspiegel


III. Reformation und Religionskriege


13.10.       Reformation und Glaubenskriege

"Reformation und Glaubenskriege" (157)

"Wie [...] die Glaubensspaltung entsteht" (158-160)

"Das Bild als Waffe" (161-162)

G: 161/1a; 161/1b; 161/1c; 161/1d (Fragen 162/2)

R: Martin Luther

***      HRC Hausaufgabe: Gutenberg-Bibel


15.10             *   Marin Luther: "Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen"

*   Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern

"Ritteraufstand und Bauernkrieg" (169-171)

H: Arbeitsblatt: Luthers Thesen


20.10.            "Die Reformation und die Gesellschaft" (164-168)

"Die reformierte Lateinschule" (163)

H: Arbeitsblatt: Beteiligte an der Reformation

G: 169/2a; 170/2b; 170/2c; 171/3a; 171/3b

R: Kaiser Karl V.


22.10.       Gegenreformation und Konfessionalismus

"Calvinismus, Gegenreformation und Glaubensspaltung" (172-174)

"Frauen um 1600" (179-181)

R: Jean Calvin oder Ulrich Zwingli


27.10.       ZWEITE PRÜFUNG


IV. Barockkultur und Absolutismus


29.10.       Der Dreißigjährige Krieg (1618-1648)

"Die Niederlande" (177-178)

"Der Dreißigjährige Krieg" (182-187)

"Bilderrätsel" (189)

G: 185/2a; 186/2b-d: 186/3; 189

R: Andreas Gryphius

*   Andreas Gryphius: "Thränen deß Vaterlandes Anno 1636"

***      Blanton Hausaufgabe: Kunst des Barock


2.11.         Der absolutistische Staat: Frankreich

"Staaten und Gesellschaften" (19)

"Frankreich: Ein Modell für Europa" (20-23)

höfische Kultur: repräsentative Architektur

*   Grimmelshausen: Simplicissimus (Auszüge)


5.11.         Merkantilismus

"Die neue Wirtschaftsform: Merkantilismus" (24-27)

H: Arbeitsblatt: Definition des absolutistischen Staates

     G: 24/2; 25f/3-4; 26/5; 27/7; 27/8

R: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber

10.11.       Kunst und Musik des Barock und Rokoko

R: Balthasar Neumann

R: Johann Sebastian Bach

*   Lieder der Renaissance und des Barock


12.11.       Barockliteratur

*   Andreas Gryphius: "Menschliches Elende"

*   Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmannswaldau: "Vergänglichkeit der Schönheit"

*   Paul Fleming: "Wie er wolle geküsset sein"; "Herrn Paul Flemingi der Med. Doct. Grabschrifft"


V. Aufklärung


17.11.       Philosophie der Aufklärung

*   Immanuel Kant: Was ist Aufklärung? (1784)

*   Johann Wolfgang Goethe: "Auf dem See"


19.11.       Der absolutistische Staat: Deutsches Reich

"Die preußischen Könige: vom despotischen zum aufgeklärtem Absolutismus" (28-32)

"Die Aufklärung und Friedrich II. von Preußen (33-35; 13)

G: 13/4; 33/1; 33/2; 34/3-5

R: König Friedrich II. von Preußen


24.11.            "Die Politik der europäischen Großmächte im 18. Jh." (36-38)

R: Joseph Haydn oder Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

R: Ludwig van Beethoven

R: Lieder von Franz Schubert

R: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


26.11.       THANKSGIVING


1.12.         Die Französische Revolution

"Bürgerliche Revolutionen 1776-1815" (51)

"Die Französische Revolution" (60-62)

"Die Auswirkungen der Französischen Revolution" (78-82)

"Agrarreform in Preußen" (83-85)

"Zeittafel" (86-87)


3.12.         DRITTE PRÜFUNG

EUS 346 • Hist Backgrounds Of German Civ

35590 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 930-1100 JES A203A
(also listed as GER 340C)

Please check back for updates.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

External Links

  • Center for European Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st Street
    Austin, Texas 78712