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Queen's University

Course Info

Graduate Seminars Offered 2010-2011


FALL 2010

GRMN 800 Coordinator: Dr. Petra Fachinger

This team-taught non-credit graduate tutorial provides an introduction to the practical, professional, and theoretical contexts of graduate studies in German literature. The tutorial, consisting of a combination of lectures and workshop-type discussions, will meet for ninety minutes a week during the academic year and is obligatory for all graduate students who have not already taken an equivalent tutorial course or seminar. Participants will not be required to submit any formal presentations or papers, but will be expected to attend regularly and to take part in the discussions. Continuing graduate students are welcome to attend individual meetings dealing with topics of special interest to them.

GRMN 800 Practical and Professional Skills

Wednesday, 11:30 to 13:30, KIN 302.

Please note the room changes for Nathalie Soini's workshops.

  • 22 September: Library Skills 1 (Nathalie Soini) in Stauffer Library Seminar Room
  • 29 September: Library Skills 2  (Kingston Hall 313)
  • 6 October: Writing grant applications (Jill Scott & David Pugh)
  • 20 October: Professional development [attending conferences, networking, preparing a CV, preparing a teaching dossier, writing a job application] (Christiane Arndt and Jennifer Hosek)
  • 17 and 24 November: Writing/Revising proposals for conference papers (Petra Fachinger)

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GRMN 896*: Sound Matters: Form, Sinn, und Sonorität in der deutschsprachigen Lyrik der Moderne

Prof. Jill Scott

Monday, 13:30 to 16:30, KIN 302

In their 2009 edited volume entitled The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of SoundMarjorie Perloff and Craig Dworkin write that "sound-one of the central elements of poetry-finds itself all but ignored in the current discourse on lyric forms." This seminar will consider the work of major voices in German-language poetry with a view to correcting this critical lacuna. The seminar will consist of theoretical readings aimed at expanding students' critical vocabulary and in-depth analysis of poetry focusing on how the acoustic element and other formal qualities transform our listening and meaning-making. We will read works by poets such as Stephan George, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Else Lasker-Schüler, Gottfried Benn, Rosa Ausländer, Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Sarah Kirsch, Durs Grünbein, Lutz Seiler, Kerstin Hensel and Barbara Köhler.

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GRMN 901*: The Semiotics of Literature

Prof. Patrick O'Neill

Tuesday, 9:30 to 11:30, KIN 302

This seminar explores questions that are fundamental to the reading of any literary text in any theoretical context. Semiotics is the study of how meaning is generated in particular systems or contexts; literary semiotics is the study of how literary meaning is generated in the interactive relationship of author, text, and reader(s). The seminar will consist of three parts, each combining theoretical reflection and practical criticism. The first part, "The Semiotics of Poetry" (weeks 1-4), will examine, in the context of practical critical engagement with a series of canonical German poems (distributed as handouts), what we understand by poetry in the first place and how we react as readers to particular texts once we have decided to treat them as poetic. The second part, "The Semiotics of Narrative" (weeks 5-8), will provide a very brief introduction to contemporary narratology in the context of a detailed consideration of Kafka's Die Verwandlung. The third part, "The Semiotics of Drama" (weeks 9-12), will serve as a likewise very brief introduction to the semiotics of drama (written texts) and theatre (performed texts) in the context of a detailed consideration of Brecht's Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder. In all three parts, attention will also be paid to the semiotics of translation and the relationships between literary texts in their language of original composition and in their often multiple linguistic and cultural transformations in other languages.

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GRMN 905*: Images of Eastern Europe in Recent German Literature and Film

Prof. Petra Fachinger

Thursday, 14:30 to 17:30, KIN 208

Eastern Europe has always had a distinct place in the German imaginary. As a result of unification, expansion of the European Union, and increased globalization, the East-West relationship has undergone a significant reevaluation. Moreover, the fact that Muslims and Islam have become the ultimate "Other" in a post-Communist and post-9/11 world has influenced the perception and representation of Eastern Europe: it has become "strangely" familiar. Seminar discussion will focus on post-Wall Poland, post-Soviet Russia and Siberia, and the Yugoslavia of the 1990s. While each has its own representational specificities engendered by historical, political, cultural, demographic, and religious contingencies, they have all traditionally been perceived and represented as the West's "Other." Discussion will focus on the new generation of German writers and filmmakers, i.e., those born in the 1960s and 1970s, who has been attempting (albeit not always successfully) to overcome and undermine common stereotypes and misrepresentations associated with the "near East." The seminar will be taught in German.

Primary Texts:

Wolfram, Gernot. Samuels Reise(2005)
Müller, Olaf. Schlesisches Wetter (2003)
Kuckart, Judith. Lenas Liebe (2002)
Soboczynski, Adam. Polski Tango: Eine Reise durch Deutschland und Polen (2006)
Hilbk, Merle. Sibirski Punk: Eine Reise in das Herz des Wilden Ostens (2008)
Gorelik, Lena. Verliebt in Sankt Petersburg: Meine russische Reise (2008)
Kaminer, Wladimir. "Verdorben in Sibirien" , Judith Hermann, "Rote Korallen", and Irina Aristarchova, "Festung Moskau"
Zeh, Juli. Die Stille ist ein Geräusch: Eine Fahrt durch Bosnien (2002)

Background Reading:

Achinger, Christine. "Evoking and Revoking Auschwitz: Kosovo, Remembrance and German National Identity." Representing the Shoah for the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Ronit Lentin. New York: Berghahn Books, 2004. 272-52.
Allcock, John B. and Antonia Young, eds. Black Lambs and Grey Falcons: Women Travellers in the Balkans. Bradford: Bradford UP, 1991.
Atanasoski, Neda. "Dracula as Ethnic Conflict: The Technologies of ‘Humanitarian Intervention' in the Balkans during the 1999 NATO Bombing of Serbia and Kosovo." Monsters and the Monstrous: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil. Ed. Niall Scott. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. 61-79.
Bakić-Hayden, Milica. "Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugoslavia." Slavic Review 54.4 (1995): 917-931.
Breysach, Barbara. Schauplatz und Gedächtnisraum Polen: Die Vernichtung der Juden in der deutschen und polnischen Literatur. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2005.
Bude, Heinz. "Bilder vom Osten: Wie die Deutschen ihre Sehnsüchte projizieren." Transit: Europäische Revue 11 (1996):78-86.
Drynda, Joanna. "Der Schriftsteller als medialer Zaungast einer Kriegskatastrophe. Die Informationsware ‚Balkankrieg' in den Prosatexten von Gerhard Roth, Peter Handke und Norbert Gstrein." Krieg und Literatur/War and Literature 12 (2006):455-465.
Dürrschmidt, Jörg. "So Near Yet So Far: Blocked Networks, Global Links and Multiple Exclusion in the German-Polish Borderlands." Global Networks 6.3 (2006): 245-63.
Fleming, K.E. "Orientalism, the Balkans, and Balkan Historiography." American Historical Review 105.4 (2000):1218-33.
Frank, Peter R. "Spiegelungen Polens in der deutschen Literatur von Opitz bis zu Grass." Erkennen und Deuten: Essays zur Literatur und Literaturtheorie Edgar Lohner in memoriam. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 1983. 172-95.
Galasińska, Aleksandra, Craig Rollo, and Ulrike H. Meinhof. "Urban Space and the Construction of Identity on the German-Polish Border." Living (with) Borders: Identity Discourses on East-West Borders in Europe. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002. 119-39.
Goldsworthy, Vesna. "Invention and In(ter)vention: The Rhetoric of Balkanization." Balkan as Metaphor: Between Globalization and Fragmentation. Ed. Dušan I. Bjelić and Obrad Savić. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002. 25-38.
Harbers, Henk. "‘Wer erzählt, hat eine Frage.' Die Verbindung von Liebe und Auschwitz in Judith Kuckarts Roman Lenas Liebe." Literatur für Leser 29.2 (2006):81-97.
Hudabiunigg, Ingrid. "The Otherness of Eastern Europe." Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 25.5/6 (2004):369-88.
Kontje, Todd. German Orientalisms. Ann Arbor: U Michigan P, 2004.
Kopp, Kristin. "Constructing Racial Difference in Colonial Poland." Germany's Colonial Pasts. Ed. Eric Ames et al. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2005. 76-96.
Long, William J. and Peter Brecke. War and Reconciliation: Reason and Emotion in Conflict Resolution. Cambridge: The MIT P, 2003.
Longinović, Tomislav Z. "Vampires Like Us: Gothic Imaginary and ‘the serbs.'" Balkan as Metaphor: Between Globalization and Fragmentation. Ed. Dušan I. Bjelić and Obrad Savić. Cambridge: MIT, 2002. 39-58.
 Oppen von, Karoline. "Nostalgia for Orient[ation]: Travelling through the Former Yugoslavia with Juli Zeh, Peter Schneider, and Peter Handke." Seminar 41.3 (2005): 246-60.
Stefanovski, Goran. "Tales from the Wild East." Eurozine. 4 September 2009.
Todorova, Maria. Imagining the Balkans. New York: Oxford UP, 1997.
---. Ed.Balkan Identities: Nation and Memory. London: Hurst & Company, 2004.
Waldenfels, Bernhard. Grundmotive einer Phänomenologie des Fremden. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 2006.

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Winter Term 2010/11

GRMN 800 Theoretical Contexts

Wednesday, 11:30 to 13:30, KIN 302

  • 19 January: Positivismus und Geistesgeschichte (David Pugh)
  • 2 February: Critical Theory (Jenn Hosek)
  • 16 February: post-modernism and post-structuralism (Jill Scott)
  • 2 March: transnationalism (Petra Fachinger)

Students are also expected to attend a number of CUST-802 workshops.

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863*: Enlightenment and Literary Genre

Professor David Pugh

Tuesday, 13:30 to 16:30, KIN 302

The course will aim to give a fairly comprehensive survey of the literary achievements of the age of Enlightenment. After establishing the century's commitment to the pursuit of intellectual autonomy, the syllabus will provide an introduction to each of the major literary genres (drama, lyric, narrative) in order to see in what respects they conform to this emancipatory programme and to what extent they are affected by the countervailing trend of sensibility (Empfindsamkeit). In each case, we shall study both theoretical texts and prominent examples of the genre.

Primary texts:
On concept of Enlightenment:

Mendelssohn "Ueber die Frage: Was heißt aufklären?";
Kant, "Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?"

On drama:

Gottsched, "Die Schauspiele und besonders die Tragödien sind aus einer wohlbestellten Republik nicht zu verbannen" (in Gottsched, Schriften zur Literatur, Reclam);
Schiller, "Die Schaubühne als moralische Anstalt betrachtet"
Lessing, Minna von Barnhelm, Emilia Galotti.

On lyric:

Breitinger, "Von der hertzrührenden Schreibart" (Critische Dichtkunst, vol. 2, ch. 8);
Mendelssohn, "Von der lyrischen Poesie."
Haller, "Die Alpen";
Klopstock, "Der Zürchersee," "Die Frühlingsfeier," samples from the Anacreontics.

On narrative:

Blanckenburg, excerpts from Versuch über den Roman;
Gellert, Leben der schwedischen Gräfin von G***;
Wieland, Geschichte des Agathon (excerpts),
Sophie von La Roche, Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim (excerpts).

Select secondary literature:
General introductions and orientation

Gerhard Kaiser, Aufklärung, Empfindsamkeit, Sturm und Drang (4th ed. 1991)
Barbara Becker-Cantarino, ed.,German Literature of the Eighteenth Century: Enlightenment and Sensibility (2005)
Essays on individual authors: B. von Wiese, ed. Deutsche Dichter des 18. Jahrhunderts: Ihr Leben und Werk (1977)

On the international context: 

Walter Hinck, ed. Europäische Aufklärung (Neues Handbuch der Literaturwissenschaft) 3 vols. (1974f.)
Recent introductions by Peter-André Alt, Rainer Baasner, Michael Hofmann, Nicolao Merker.


Walter Hinderer, ed. Geschichte der deutschen Lyrik (1983). Chapter by Wilhelm Große, "Aufklärung und Empfindsamkeit."
Hans-Georg Kemper, Deutsche Lyrik der frühen Neuzeit, 2 vols. (1987f.)
Older works on German lyric by August Closs and Johannes Klein.
Reinhold Grimm, ed., Deutsche Dramentheorien, vol. 1 (1971). Chapter by Kurt Wölfel.
Walter Hinck, ed., Handbuch des deutschen Dramas (1980). Chapters by Jacobs, Guthke, Fuhrmann, Barner.
Horst Steinmetz, Das deutsche Drama von Gottsched bis Lessing (1987)
Bruno Hillebrand, Theorie des Romans 2 vols.(1972)
Reinhold Grimm, ed. Deutsche Romantheorien (1968). Chapter by Kurt Wölfel.
Helmut Koopmann, ed. Handbuch des deutschen Romans (1983). Chapters by Jacobs, Allerdissen.

Individual authors and topics

Volumes in Sammlung Metzler: Klopstock by Katrin Kohl; Wieland by Klaus Schaefer; Lessing by Wolfgang Albrecht; Das deutsche bürgerliche Trauerspiel by Karl Guthke; Komödie der Aufklärung by Horst Steinmetz; Literarisches Rokoko by Alfred Anger;
Volumes in series Arbeitsbücher zur Literaturgeschichte: Lessing by W. Barner, et al.; Wieland by S. Jorgensen et al.

Journals, etc.

Lessing Yearbook/Jahrbuch
Das achtzehnte Jahrhundert
Jahrbuch der Deutschen Schillergesellschaft


1 term paper, 1 class presentation

 Week  Topics
 I Enlightenment: The concept and the period. (Was ist Aufklärung?, Reclam) 
II-IV  Poetry:

Texts: Lehrdichtung (Haller), Anakreontik, Klopstock

Theory: Breitinger, Mendelssohn, Klopstock



Texts: Emilia Galotti, Minna von Barnhelm

Theory: Gottsched, Hamburgische Dramaturgie, Schiller

 IX-XII Novel

Texts: Schwedische Gräfin, Agathon, Sternheim

Theory: Blanckenburg

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GRMN 895* : Transnational Urbanism in Film: Berlin, Europe, and Beyond

Professor Jennifer Hosek

Monday, 13:30 to 15:30, KIN 304 (discussions)

17:30 to 19:30, KIN 412 (film screenings)

Is it a paradox that film shapes national identities and that movies are always already practices and products that cross such borders? Randall Halle has recently argued that even the most low-budget, locally focused works are profoundly transnational. Our seminar takes this dialectic seriously in its engagement with European film within and beyond the nation. Similarly, capital cities are often understood as homogeneous quintessences of their respective nations, but also as entities quite apart. Simmel and Benjamin among others have purported unique rhythms and consciousnesses in urban life. Identificatory notions that seem to move beyond attachment to a unique city space, such as cosmopolitanism, world citizenship, and globalism have repeatedly been hailed as hopeful and horrific antidotes to the urban condition.

Meanwhile, our contemporary moment is characterized by flight to megalopolises and retreat into regionalisms, Janus-faced symptoms of politico-economic forces such as the top-down, speedy grafting of the European Union. While movement from the global South continues apace, grassroots movements there seek "the right not to migrate."

Our seminar engages these tensions through an exploration of contemporary urban film in transnational perspective. It considers the transnational character of what are generally thought of as Germanocentric city films, focusing on the work of members of the Berliner Schule--the most notable movement coming out of Germany at the moment--as glocal phenomenon.

Thomas Arslan's Berlin trilogy:

Geschwister Kardesler (1996)
Dealer (1997)
Der schöne Tag(2001)

Christian Petzold's Berlin "ghost" trilogy:

Gespenster (2005)
Yella (2007)
Die innere Sicherheit (2000)

Angela Schanelec's ostensively Berlin-centric works:

Ich bin den Sommer über in Berlin geblieben (2001)
Plätzen in Städten (1998)
Mein langsames Leben(1994)

We will contrast these with films that overtly cross lines: rural and urban; West and East; France and Germany--twin pillars of the EU; and generic conventions of US and European art and action films.


Ferien (2007)
Aus der Ferne(2006)
Im Schatten (2010)




Orly (2010)

Theoretical readings will include: Linda McDowell; Edward Soja; Henri Lefebvre; David Harvey; Saskia Sassen; and Zygmunt Bauman

This course will be taught in English or German, depending on student preferences and abilities.

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Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000