Please enable javascript to view this page in its intended format.

Queen's University

GRMN 105*

Germany: A People and its Culture I


Hagen Schulze, Germany:  A New History (=S)
Gordon Craig, The Germans (=C)
The coursebook (=CB) is available from the AMS Publishing and Copy Centre and contains the following texts:

1. Tacitus, Germania
2. Kant, What is Enlightenment?
3. Kant, Idea for a Univeral History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View
4. Herder, Extracts from a Correspondence on Ossian
5. Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of World History (excerpt)
6.Novalis, The Dream of the Blue Flower (from Heinrich von Ofterdingen)
7.Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, On German Volkstum
8.Heine, Germany: A Winter's Tale
9.Wagner, Judaism in Music
10.Thomas Mann, Germany and the Germans

Further handouts may include short texts by Goethe, Schiller, Novalis, Hegel, Nietzsche and others. Students should keep and file these as they are distributed, as you will have to show knowledge of them in the final exam.

The aim of the course is to provide a reflective, multi-faceted and historically informed introduction to the problems of German culture and national identity. Class activities will consist of lectures, discussions, joint reading and criticism of texts. Written assignments will be assessed on the basis of good expression (spelling, punctuation, sentence structure) as well as of information.

A film will be shown in the third hour every week. You will be required to take notes and to submit a one-page summary of the film by the following class. (You may also send them in by email.) Credit will be given for summaries that go beyond the repetition of information and succeed in analyzing the film's argument.

Instead of a formal mid-term exam, there will be an in-class essay in the seventh week, to be written by hand. You will be given a choice of topics one week before. You should then come to class with your answer prepared (you may bring one page of handwritten notes) and you will have 50 minutes to write it out.


Summaries of films: 20% (based on the 9 best grades)
In-class essay (mid-term): 20%
Attendance and oral participation: 10%
Term paper: 20% (2000-3000 words on a subject or your own choice, though after consultation with the instructor, due Monday 7 December)
Final Exam (2 hours): 30%

Some useful web sites about Germany:

The outlines for each session are divided into four sections: readings, topic for lecture, topic for discussion and class activity, episode of film series "Wir Deutschen" (The Germans).
Note: The lectures and discussions will proceed faster through the historical period than the episodes of the film series that will be shown in the third hour. By the fourth week, there will be a historical lag of a couple of centuries. You are advised to refresh your memory by re-reading the relevant part of Schulze's New History before seeing each episode.

Week 1: Introductory:
1. Readings: S vii-ix; C 15-34.
2.Lecture: Introduction to course, readings, expectations.
Geography- periodization- identity- culture- stereotypes
3.Discussion: What do average Canadians know (or think they know) about German culture? What are their sources?
4.Film: The Germans 1: Ancient Romans and Germans

Week 2: The Germanic Past
1.Readings: S 1-5, CB (Tacitus), Hildebrandslied
2.Lecture: Germans and Romans, the Hermann and Siegfried myths
3.Discussion: Heroism and the nation; the noble savage
4. Film: The Germans 2: Charlemagne

Week 3: The Middle Ages
1.Readings: S 5-29; CB (Heine and Thomas Mann), Barbarossa poems.
2.Lecture: The medieval heritage: feudalism, chivalry, architecture
3.Discussion: Romanticism and the past
4.Film: The Germans 4: The Era of the Hohenstaufen

Week 4: The Reformation and Protestantism
1.Readings: S 31-67; C 83-90; CB (Heine and Thomas Mann)
2.Lecture: Luther's personality, Protestantism and culture, national catastrophe.
3.Discussion: religious conflict, secularization, personality
4.Film: The Germans 6: The Late Middle Ages

Week 5: Germany under the Westphalian Settlement
1.Readings: S 69-92; CB (Kant)
2.Lecture: Germany as a backwater, Enlightenment and French influence
3.Discussion: Reason and emotion, princely rule, national weakness
4.Film: The Germans 7: Luther 

Week 6: Sturm und Drang, Classicism
1.Readings: S 93-99, CB (Herder)
2.Lecture: Cultural revival, Germany in Age of the French Revolution, myth of Faust
3.Discussion: Cultural identity vs. progress, order and disorder, education and politics
4.Film: The Germans 8: The Thirty Years War

Week 7: Romanticism
1.Readings: S 101-11; C 190-212; CB (Heine, Novalis)
2.Lecture: What does Romanticism mean?
3.Discussion: Liberalism and nationalism
4.Film: The Germans 9: The Age of Reason 

Week 8: Biedermeier
1.Readings: F 111-21, CB (Heine, Thomas Mann, Hegel)
2.Lecture: Hegel and state worship; the German musical tradition
3.Discussion: Music and society
4.Film: The Germans 10: Under Napoleon

Week 9: The Revolution of 1848
1.Readings: S 121-36, CB (Jahn)
2.Lecture: Industrialization and its consequences
3.Discussion: Socalism and communism
4.Film: The Germans 11: Biedermeier and Revolution

Week 10: Later 19th-century Germany I
1.Readings: S 136-67
2.Lecture: Bismarck's career
3.Discussion: Anti-modern thought
4.Film: The Germans 12: Bismarck

Week 11: Later 19th-century Germany II
1.Readings: C 136-40, CB (Wagner)
2.Lecture: Wagner and Nietzsche
3.Discussion: Anti-semitism
4.Film: The Germans 13: The End of an Empire

Week 12: Germany under the Kaiser
1.Readings: S 169-89
2.Lecture: The slide towards war
3.Discussion: Summary of themes
4.Film: The First World War 1: To Arms, 1914

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000