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Queen's University

GRMN 252*

German Literature and Culture in a Global Context II

Conflict and Culture From Nietzsche to 9/11 

Nietzsche thought forgiveness was a sign of weakness, and Adorno said that it was barbaric to write poetry after Auschwitz), this course will consider the ways in which creativity can contribute to conflict resolution. With this question in mind, we will discuss a range of German-language literary texts and films that respond to different times of conflict, such as Colonialism, World War One, the Holocaust, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and 9/11. Authors include Nietzsche, Freud, Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, and Katharina Hacker. Students will be introduced to a range of critical perspectives on conflict resolution, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Mark Break-down

Reflections and Mind Maps 45%
Outline paper/project 10%
Paper/Profect Presentation 5%
Paper/Project Final 30%


German literature and conflict (ir)resolution

Nation and Psyche
Lecture: German History for dummies
Reflection: my impressions of and assumptions about German-speaking Europe

Why literature?
Lecture: German Literature for keeners
reflection: why read literature in translation?  

Nietzsche, Freud and other dead dudes
Lecture: Philosophy, psychology and philology

3.1 and 3.2
Writing back to the Father(land)
Franz Kafka Letter to His Father
Hannah Arendt The Human Condition (excerpt)
reflection: Kafka’s dad writes back…

4.1 and 4.2
Austria’s Habsburgian Dream
Arthur Schnitzler Dream Story
Mind Map: map Fridolin's travels through Vienna

5.1, 5.2, 6.1
The Psychology of War
Sigmund Freud Introduction to Psycho-analysis and War Neurosis
Stefan Ruzowitzky The Counterfeiters*
reflection: moral compromise or humor and the Holocaust

 6.2, 7.1, 7.2
Magic and Mesmerism
Thomas Mann Mario and the Magician
reflection: the “art” of fascism  8.1, 8.2
Auschwitz (and before)
Rainer Maria Rilke “First Elegy”
Paul Celan “Death Fugue”
Sylvia Plath “Daddy”
Barbara Köhler “Blue Box”
mind map: poetry map (instructions in class) Outline of paper/project due 9.1

9.1, 9.2
The wall in my head
Florian Henckel von Donnersmark The Lives of Others*  

10.1, 10.2, 11.1
Migrants and multiculturalism
The Bridge from the Golden Horn
reflection: “Foreigners” or New Germans?

11.2, 12.1
9/11 or 11/9: European perspectives
Katharina Hacker The Have-Nots

Your turn
Micro-conference: paper/project presentations

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000