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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Graduate courses in German Literature

Primarily for graduate students; undergraduates may enroll with consent of instructor.

GERLIT 158. German Dialects

(Same as GERLIT 258.) Linguistic characteristics of dialect areas. History of the study of language variation in Germany; traditional dialect grammars; dialect-geographical revolution; and insights of modern sociolinguistics. Sources include native speakers, professionally-made tapes with transcripts, and secondary readings.

3-4 units, not given this year

GERLIT 215. Gottfried Benn and Francis Ponge: Mid-20th-Century European Poetry and the Problem of the Referent

(Same as COMPLIT 215A, FRENGEN 215.) Comparative readings of the two poets in their respective national contexts, with attention to biographical and poetological frameworks. Canonic status and scholarly reception histories. Renewed interest in their work with regard to their distinctive practices of connecting prosodic form and extra textual referents. Prerequisite: reading knowledge of German or French.

3-5 units, Aut (Gumbrecht, H)

GERLIT 230. Truth in Art

Does art disclose an ultimate truth or does it help people avoid, endure, or affirm a truth which would otherwise be hard to bear? How modern thinking about art is defined by the tension between the idea that pleasure in art is disinterested and outside striving for true knowledge or ethical orientation and the idea that art offers some kind of deeper insight into people's place in the world. How these tensions play out in Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Adorno. In English.

3-5 units, Aut (Dornbach, M)

GERLIT 233. German Romanticism

(Same as GERLIT 133C.) The literary and theoretical innovations of early Romanticism, and works from the later phase. In German.

3-5 units, not given this year

GERLIT 233F. German Self-Understandings: Between Culture and Civilization

(Same as GERLIT 133F.) German-language writers' attempts to come to terms with German culture from 1800. Visions of a national Kultur in opposition to the universalistic civilization of modernity; the role of language and the arts in this ideal; the emergence of militant nationalism and attempts to counter this tendency with enlightened patriotism; and the quandaries of postwar and post-1989 German self-understanding.

3-5 units, not given this year

GERLIT 246. Memory, History, and the Contemporary Novel

(Same as COMPLIT 221.) How the watershed events of the 20th century, the philosophic linguistic turn, and the debate regarding the end of history left their mark on the novel. How does the contemporary novel engage with the past? How does its interest in memory and history relate to late- or postmodern culture of time or to political and ethical concerns? Novels by Toni Morrison, W. G. Sebald, J. M. Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro, and A. B. Yehoshua; theoretical works by Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Fredric Jameson, Paul Ricoeur Awishai Margalit, and Walter Benn Michaels.

3-5 units, Spr (Eshel, A; White, H)

GERLIT 247. The Avant Garde

(Same as GERLIT 147.) What happens to art in an age of movies, machines, and two world wars? Who is still making it, and why? What does the avant garde actually mean, and to whom? What are the techniques that distinguish it, in the minds of its most revolutionary practitioners, from all that came before? And why should people care about these techniques today? German materials explored in a wider European context, with emphasis on the avant garde movements of France and Russia.

3-5 units, Win (Pourciau, S)

GERLIT 248. Heart to Heart: Theories of Expression at the Turns of Two Centuries

(Same as GERLIT 148.) Paradigms of expression around 1800 and 1900, from Empfindsamkeit (sensibility) to German Expressionism. The heart that overflows into speech in the works of Klopstock, Goethe, Tieck, and Kleist, and the reformulation a century later of this idea as avant garde practice and modernist credo. Readings of poets, philosophers, and artists on relationships between inside and out, heart and voice, emotion and language, and self and art. Discussion in English.

3-5 units, not given this year

GERLIT 250A. Modern Drama

Problems of drama as genre, especially in relationship to problems of modernism. Transitions from classical and popular theater. New structures of action and conflict; epic theater; competition with film; transformed theatrical practices. Authors: Nestroy, Hauptmann, Hofmannsthal, Brecht, and Horvath. (Satisfied by enrollment in GERLIT 369 in 2008-09.)

3-5 units, not given this year

GERLIT 250B. German Romanticism and Its Repercussions

Works by Novalis, the Schlegel brothers, Tieck, Wackenroder, Hoffmann, Klingemann. Theory of the subject; transformative politics and conservative-religious retreat into inwardness; the fragment form and the novel; reflection, play, irony; the productive self-movement of language; the hieroglyph of nature; animating effects of Romantic desire and its impasses; interactions among literature, music, and painting. Ambivalent and critical responses to Romanticism (Hegel, Heine, Nietzsche) and recent revivals (Benjamin, Lacoue-Labarthe, Nancy, and Frank). Readings in German, discussion in English.

3-5 units, Win (Dornbach, M)

GERLIT 250C. Postwar German Culture and Thought: 1945 to the Present

How German culture and thought confronted the legacy of National Socialism, German guilt, and the possibility of a new beginning. German culture and the memory of communism (the German Democratic Republic) after 1989. Fiction of Thomas Mann, Gunter Grass, Alexander Kluge, and Hans Ulrich Treichel; poetry of Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann; philosophical essays of Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, Jürgen Habermas; films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Florian Henkel (The Life of Others), and Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall).

3-5 units, Spr (Eshel, A)

GERLIT 251. German Underworlds

(Same as GERLIT 151.) German theories about what lies beneath: is it hell or the subterranean foundations that keep the world from collapsing? Cosmic architecture and the question of the inferno in Kant, Novalis, Wagner, Marx, Freud, Kafka, and the films of Fritz Lang.

3-5 units, not given this year

GERLIT 255. Middle High German

Introduction to medieval German language and culture. Readings include Hartmann von Aue and Gottfried von Strassburg; genres include Minnesang, epic, and romance. Grammar review; emphasis is on rapid and accurate reading.

3-5 units, Win (Robinson, O)

GERLIT 256. Old High German

Introduction to the grammar and the texts of the earliest attested stage of high German

3-4 units, not given this year

GERLIT 257. Gothic

Introduction to the grammar, texts, and history of this earliest extensively-documented Germanic language, a relative of German and English. Issues surrounding the Germanic parent language.

4 units, not given this year

GERLIT 258. German Dialects

(Same as GERLIT 158.) Linguistic characteristics of dialect areas. History of the study of language variation in Germany; traditional dialect grammars; dialect-geographical revolution; and insights of modern sociolinguistics. Sources include native speakers, professionally-made tapes with transcripts, and secondary readings.

3-4 units, not given this year

GERLIT 263. Readings in 19th-Century German Literature

(Same as GERLIT 163.) Works by Goethe, Tieck, Kleist, Hoffmann, Heine, Büchner, Grillparzer, Droste-Hülshoff, Stifter, and Keller. Their divergent responses to artistic, ethical, and political challenges of modernity. Prerequisite: GERLANG 3 or equivalent. In German.

4 units, not given this year

GERLIT 295. The Culture of Reason and its Discontents: Introduction to Modern German Intellectual History

(Same as GERLIT 195.) Characteristics of modernity such as rational self-legislation, growing separation of spheres of life, and liberating and disorienting loss of traditional frameworks of meaning. Texts include Kant, Schiller, Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, Adorno, and Horkheimer. Discussion and written work in English. Students may read texts in translation; assistance provided to those reading in German.

4 units, not given this year

GERLIT 297. Theories of Art after Idealism

(Same as GERLIT 197.) Key responses to the failure of idealism to integrate artistic creation and aesthetic experience into a philosophical system. Works by Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dilthey, and Lukács.

3-5 units, not given this year

GERLIT 298. Individual Work

Open only to German majors and to students working on special projects, including written reports for internships. Honors students use this number for the honors essay. May be repeated for credit.

1-15 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

GERLIT 306. Narrative, Visuality, Memory

(Same as GERLIT 206.) Moments in the history of the relationship between verbal and visual: the classical ars memoriae; the ekphrasis debates of the 18th century; and the emergence of a new visuality and mnemonic art as structuring principles for modernist narrative. Authors include Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Winkelmann, Lessing, Diderot, Goethe, Moritz, Flaubert, Rilke, and Proust.

3-5 units, not given this year

GERLIT 310. Theorizing Experience

The theoretical relevance of the category of experience (Erfahring). Key articulations including Hegel, Benjamin, Gadamer, and more recent authors. Topics such as: negativity in experience; the tension between internal and external standpoints; contrast between lived and interiorized experience; the character of aesthetic experience and its power to confront audiences with, or compensate them for, the experiential poverty brought on by modernity. In English.

3-5 units, not given this year

GERLIT 339. Love, Marriage and Passion in German Literature of the 19th and 20th Centuries

(Same as GERLIT 139.) The thesis that love relationships, in shifting social, cultural, and communication contexts, reflect and determine the dominant value system of a society. How the concepts of romantic, passionate, and pragmatic love evolved and competed with one another in texts by Goethe, Schlegel, Keller, Sacher-Masoch, Fontane, and Böll. In German.

3-5 units, not given this year

GERLIT 369. Introduction to Graduate Studies: Criticism as Profession

(Same as COMPLIT 369, FRENGEN 369, ITALGEN 369.) Major texts of modern literary criticism in the context of professional scholarship today. Readings of critics such as Lukács, Auerbach, Frye, Ong, Benjamin, Adorno, Szondi, de Man, Abrams, Bourdieu, Vendler, and Said. Contemporary professional issues including scholarly associations, journals, national and comparative literatures, university structures, and career paths.

5 units, Aut (Berman, R)

GERLIT 399. Independent Study

1-15 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

GERLIT 400. Dissertation Research

For graduate students in German working on dissertations only.

1-12 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

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