classes

Fin-de-Siècle Vienna (Harvard Extension School, HUMA E-100)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2011

The course explores literature, art, and architecture in Vienna around 1900. We focus on themes such as language, psychoanalysis, sexuality, and identity. Readings include Hofmannsthal (Chandos, Electra), Musil, Schnitzler (Round Dance, Gustl); artists include Klimt, Schiele; architecture of the "Ringstrasse" and Adolf Loos. Finally, we examine Strauss's opera Electra and Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

Robert Musil: Writing Modernity (GER 159)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2011

This course will explore the complex relations between literature and science in one of the most prominent novels of modernity, Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities (1930-1942). An archive of contemporaneous knowledge and culture, this influential novel refers to discourses such as the theory of relativity, mathematics of probability, and experimental psychology among others. Selected literary and scientific texts will supplement our examination of how these discourses are translated into Musil's unique poetics. Note: Discussions and readings in German.

German Literature from Kafka to Jelinek (GER 72)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2011

The course focuses on central texts in 20th-century German literature. Key authors are read in pairs: for example, Arthur Schnitzler and Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Alfred Doblin and Franz Kafka, Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann. The course provides an historical overview, sharpens German reading skills, and introduces basic concepts in literary analysis. Note: Readings and discussions in German. This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the Core area requirement for Literature and Arts A.

Introduction to Cultural Studies (GER 152)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2011

Cultural Studies has developed at the intersection of a range of fields, drawing on literary criticism, ethnography, the history of science, media studies, and others. Situating Cultural Studies as an academic discipline, this course examines methods for the analysis of a society's creation of cultural meaning and knowledge. The course provides an introduction to essential tools and basic concepts for interdisciplinary inquiries in the humanities. Note: Readings and discussion in English.

Neurosis, Hysteria and the Schizoid - Pathologies of the Subject in Literature and Thought (GER 149)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2010

A survey of theories of madness in the 20th century, this course examines inventions and conceptualizations of the "insane" subject in psychoanalysis and otherwise. Particular attention will be paid to the literary history of these pathologies as well as to the creative potential of the unreasonable subject and its exemplary function in literary avantgarde and critical thought. Theoretical readings include Freud, Lacan, Foucault, Cixous, Kristeva, Deleuze, and Guattari. Note: Readings and discussion in English.

Fear and Pity: German Tragedies from the 18th to the 20th Century (GER 123)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2010

Tragedies aim to stimulate the spectator's passion and sympathy. How precisely do they achieve that goal? Through close readings, the course contextualizes the tragedies of such authors as Lessing, Goethe, Kleist, Buchner, Hebbel, Wedekind, and Hofmannsthal within major literary movements and the theoretical reflections of Nietzsche and Benjamin. Note: Readings and discussions in German.

Heinrich von Kleist or the End of the 18th Century (GER 181)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2009

Heinrich von Kleist, one of the most prominent authors around 1800, was a critical reader of his own time; his work marked a turning point in literary history. Through close readings we will analyze the innovative and unique poetic forms of his major works with regard to literary movements of his time, in particular Weimar Classicism and Romanticism. Note: Conducted in German.

Critical Theory Revisited (GER 183)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2008

Introduction to one of the most influential theories of the 20th Century. Special attention will be paid to the literary history that has anticipated some of its thoughts. Excerpts of Adorno's aesthetic theory and a selection of his essays will be contextualized with texts by Goethe, Eichendorff and others; Benjamin's writings will be discussed along with works by Brecht and Kafka.

America in the German Mind (GER 184)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2006

Journeys to "America" have their own history in German literature. For 19th-century writers such as Charles Sealsfield, Ferdinand Kurnberger, Friedrich Gerstacker, Karl May, and others, "America" serves as a topos for aesthetic and political reflection. In 20th-century literature, the constructed nature of "America" becomes particularly apparent. Readings from this period include Franz Kafka, Wolfgang Koeppen, Peter Handke, Max Frisch, and W. G. Sebald.

Realism (GER 175)

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2005

Focusing on the problem of "objective" representations of reality, the course concentrates on leading representatives of "bourgeois realism": Gottfried Keller, Wilhelm Raabe, Theodor Storm, Theodor Fontane, and Conrad Ferdinand Meyer. Through close reading of texts, the course explores how narrative techniques create realistic effects. Attention is paid to the visual arts and sciences in the second half of the 19th century as important contexts for literature of the period.