Department of modern languages and literatures

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GER 3512: Intro to German Literature II

Spring 2009

Credit Hours and Prerequisites:

This course counts as 3.00 credit hours. Prerequisite: 203, 204 or equivalent.

Classroom and Meeting Times:

Instructor Contact Information:

Office Hours:

MWF 6:10pm-07:00pm Shahan 205

Dr. Claudia Bornholdt

McMahon 206b


M 2-3pm

W 3-4pm

& by appointment

Course Description:

This course is a survey of the development of German literature in the 19th and 20th centuries. Students will read and interpret central works of the period and learn about major developments in the history of German literature and the different literary forms. All readings, discussions, and assignments will be in German.

Instructional Methods:

During the course meetings literary texts will be examined as representative for the period in question. These texts will serve as models for in-depth interpretations of literary works of art. Students will prepare assigned readings and are asked to participate in discussions of the material in the course meetings. They will participate in online discussions, post discussion questions on Blackboard prior to the course meetings, and prepare and deliver an oral presentation on a time period (in class and in a museum). Students will be introduced to the tools of literary analysis by means of reading and analyzing representative scholarly essays and by guided writing practices. All students are expected to participate actively in classroom discussions and they will present their thoughts and analyses of literary works in a number of short papers as well as a final research paper.

Required Texts:

  1. Georg Büchner. Woyzeck. In Einfach Deutsch: Textausgaben. Schöningh im Westermann Verlag. (CUA Bookstore)

  2. Thomas Mann. Tonio Kröger / Mario der Zauberer. Fischer Taschenbuch. (CUA Bookstore)

  3. Bertolt Brecht. Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder. Suhrkamp Basis Bibliothek. (CUA Bookstore)

  4. Max Frisch. Biedermann und die Brandstifter. Suhrkamp Taschenbuch. (CUA Bookstore)

  5. Additional readings are available online on the Blackboard course site.

Additional Recommended Materials:

1. Any comprehensive German-English, English-German dictionary.

2. The Cambridge History of German Literature. Ed. Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly. 1997 (Paperback 2000)

3. A New History of German Literature. Ed. David E. Wellbery. 2004.

Course Goals:

The goals of the course are to introduce students to key works and periods in German literary history as well as to acquaint them with the basic tools to critically analyze a literary work of art. Since the course is taught in the target language, students will furthermore practice and improve their oral communication, writing, reading, and listening skills, as well as acquire additional target-language vocabulary pertinent to the field of literary studies in German (Germanistik).

Goals for Student Learning:

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Read and critically evaluate literary works.

  2. Have a basic understanding of key periods and genres in the historical development of German-speaking literature.

  3. Understand and apply terminology in German literary analysis.

  4. Read, discuss, and write about literary works of art in German.

Course Requirements:


Students will receive weekly participation grades, post discussion questions online and engage in online discussions, give an oral presentation in class and in an art museum, and write short response papers as well as a final research paper.

Academic Honesty:

Academic honesty is expected of all CUA students. Faculty are required to initiate the imposition of sanctions when they find violations of academic honesty, such as plagiarism, improper use of a student’s own work, cheating, or fabrication.

The following sanctions are presented in the University procedures related to Student Academic Dishonesty (from “The presumed sanction for undergraduate students for academic dishonesty will be failure for the course. There may be circumstances, however, where, perhaps because of an undergraduate student’s past record, a more serious sanction, such as suspension or expulsion, would be appropriate.”

Please review the complete texts of the University policy and procedures regarding Student Academic Dishonesty, including requirements for appeals, at and

Please be aware that academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:

  • having someone else do your homework/assignment or copying someone’s homework/assignment

  • using electronic translators without permission from the instructor

  • copying from the internet or other written sources without due credit (this includes copying as little as one sentence for an essay!)

  • having someone else (such as a more advanced German student or a native speaker) proof read and correct your homework/assignment

Other Policies and Expectations:

Preparation: At home, students are expected to prepare the readings and additional assignments for each day and come well prepared to class so as to be able to actively participate in classroom discussion. An important aspect of preparing each course meeting is to participate in the online discussions on Blackboard and to post comments and questions.

Attendance Policy: Students are expected to come to class, do their homework, turn in all assignments on time, and contribute to discussion every day. In agreement with the policies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, the attendance policy for

the course is as follows:

  • 0-4 absences: no penalty (but students are responsible for missed homework and obviously won’t get a participation grade for the day)

  • 5 or more absences: the final grade will drop 2 points per absence

  • The policy applies to class as well as scheduled labs

  • The 4-absences limit includes both excused absences for reasons of school-sponsored activities and any other absences due to illness, family emergencies, jobs, etc.

  • Exceptional cases of prolonged absences (more than one week beyond the initial 4 non-penalized absences) will be reviewed on an individual basis. In such cases, students must provide an explanatory letter from the Dean of Students and make arrangements to make up any missed work

Due Dates: All assignments are due in hardcopy at the beginning of class on the day listed on the syllabus. Late assignments will only be accepted in the case of a documented emergency. In these cases, students are required to contact the instructor by phone or email prior to class. All contributions to the online discussion as well as the posting of online questions is due on the date and time specified in the assignment.

Resources for Student Support: Students are invited and highly encouraged to attend the instructor’s office hour or to schedule appointments to meet with the instructor to review material, ask questions, further review and discuss material covered in class, and talk about additional resources, such as secondary literature, as well as topics for presentations and papers.

All students enrolled in GER 352 are welcome at all events of the German Club. Up-to-date information about the activities of the German Club and other events organized by the German faculty can be found on this website: Students might also want to check out the facebook page of the German Club at CUA.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss specific needs. Students should also contact Disability Support Services (at 202 319-5211, room 207 Pryzbyla Center). To read about the services and policies, please visit the website:  


Participation in class discussion 15%

Participation in online discussions 15%

Presentation (in class & in museum) 15%

5 Short response papers 25%

Research paper (all components) 30%

Extra Credit:

Students can earn extra credit by attending German activities sponsored by the German Club or

by attending and participating in the bi-weekly German Kaffeestunde. Extra credit will be added to the final percentage grade. Students can earn a maximum of 5 percentage points for extra-curricula activities; 0.5 points for each event they attend and actively participate in. Please check the German website regularly for activities and announcements:

Grading Scale:

93-100 A (4.00) 83-86 B (3.00) 73-76 C (2.00) 60-69 D (1.00) 0-59 F (0.00)

90-92 A- (3.70) 80-82 B- (2.70) 70-72 C- (1.70)

87-89 B+ (3.30) 77-79 C+ (2.30)

Excellent Good Satisfactory Lowest Passing Failing


  • Jeden Montag und Mittwoch bis 13Uhr: 2 Fragen oder Kommentare zur Lektüre für den Tag

  • Jeden Freitag bis 13 Uhr: Mindestens 2 Beiträge zum Diskussionsthema der Woche






Mo: 12.1.

Fr: 16.1.


Beethoven. 9. Symphonie

Schiller. „Ode an die Freude”

Schiller. „Die Bürgschaft“ (1798)


Mi: 21.1.

Fr: 23.1.


„Humanitätsideal“ „Bildungsroman“

Ausgewählte Lyrik

Montag, 26.1.: Kurzaufsatz #1


Mo: 26.1.

Fr: 30.1.


Novalis. Heinrich von Ofterdingen. Kapitel 1 („Die blaue Blume“) (1800/02)

Ausgewählte Lyrik

Präsentation #1


Mo: 2.2.

Fr: 6.2.


E.T.A. Hoffmann. Der Sandmann (1817)

Montag, 9.2.: Kurzaufsatz #2


Mo: 9.2.

Fr: 13.2.

Biedermeier, Vormärz,

Junges Deutschland

Georg Büchner. Der Hessische Landbote (1834); Woyzeck (1836/37)


Mo: 16.2.

Fr: 20.2.

Biedermeier, Vormärz,

Junges Deutschland

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. Die Judenbuche (1842)

Montag, 23.2.: Kurzaufsatz #3


Mo: 23.2.

Fr: 27.2.

Bürgerlicher Realismus


Gottfried Keller. Kleider machen Leute (1874)



Mo: 9.3

Fr: 13.3.


Arno Holz & Johannes Schlaf. Papa Hamlet (1889)

Präsentation #2


Mo: 16.3.

Fr: 20.3.

Fin-de-siècle, Expressionismus

„Die Künstlernovelle“

Thomas Mann. Tonio Kröger (1903)

Montag, 23.3.: Kurzaufsatz #4 Mittwoch, 25.3.: Forschungsaufsatz (Idee)


Mo: 23.3.

Fr: 27.3.



Franz Kafka. Das Urteil (1913); Die Verwandlung (1915)

Robert Wiene. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920)

Mittwoch, 1.4.: Forschungsaufsatz (eine Quelle)


Mo: 30.3.

Fr: 3.4.

Weimarer Republik; Neue Sachlichkeit


Kurt Tucholsky. „Krieg dem Kriege“ (1919); „Was darf die Satire?“ (1919); „Deutsch“ (1924)

Montag, 6.4.: Kurzaufsatz #5 Mittwoch, 8.4.: Forschungsaufsatz (Bibliographie)


Mo: 6.4.

Mi: 8.4.

Drittes Reich

„Episches Theater“

Bertolt Brecht. Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (1938/39)

Mittwoch, 15.4.: Forschungsaufsatz (Gliederung)


Mi: 15.4.

Fr: 17.4.

Drittes Reich

„Episches Theater“

Bertolt Brecht. Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (1938/39)

Präsentation #3

Mittwoch, 22.4.: Forschungsaufsatz (Einleitung)


Mo: 20.4.

Fr: 24.4.



Wolfgang Borchert.

Nachts schlafen die Ratten doch (1947)

Draußen vor der Tür (1947)

Mittwoch, 29.4.: Forschungsaufsatz (Entwurf)


Mo: 27.4.

Fr: 1.5.



Max Frisch: Biedermann und die Brandstifter (1953)

Samstag, 9.5.: Forschungsaufsatz (Endversion)


Die Präsentationen werden in Partnerarbeit vorbereitet und vorgetragen. Die Power Point Präsentationen sollten folgende Komponenten enthalten:

  • Die Vorstellung der Biographie eines Autors der Epoche

  • Beispiele zur Kunst der Periode

  • Beispiele zur Musik der Periode (mit kurzem Tonbeispiel)

  • Eine Definition und genaue Beschreibung der Kunstperiode

  • Einige aussagekräftige Zitate zur Zeitperiode

Zusätzliche spezifische Ideen werden jeweils in der Themenbeschreibung erwähnt und sollten mit Prof. Bornholdt abgesprochen werden.


  1. Romantik

      • Mögliche Autoren: Eichendorff, Tieck, Novalis, von Arnim, Hölderlin, Brentano

      • Mögliche Themen: Kunstmärchen, Mittelalterbegeisterung, Universalpoesie

      • Kunst: Caspar David Friedrich, Albert Bierstadt, Johann Heinrich Füssli [William Turner, Eugène Delacroix]

      • Musik: Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert (Lieder), Beethoven (spät), Franz Liszt, Mendelsohn-Bartholdy, Richard Wagner

  1. Fin-de-siècle, Early 20th Century (Moderne)

      • Mögliche Autoren: Gottfried Benn, Georg Trakl, Georg Heym, Alfred Döblin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Arthur Schnitzler, Hermann Hesse, Robert Musil

      • Mögliche Themen: Expressionismus, Dadaismus, Dekadentismus, Jugendstil

      • Kunst: Die Brücke (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel und Karl Schmidt-Rottluff); Der blaue Reiter (Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, August Macke, Gabriele Münter, Paul Klee); Emil Nolde; Oskar Kokoschka

      • Musik: Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schönberg

  1. Drittes Reich

      • Mögliche Autoren: Exilliteratur: Klaus, Thomas, Heinrich Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Arnold Zweig, Franz Werfel, Anna Seghers; Innere Emigration: Gottfried Benn, Werner Bergengruen, Erich Kästner, Ricarda Huch, Ernst Jünger

      • Mögliche Themen: Exilliteratur, Innere Emigration

      • Kunst: „Entartete Kunst“ = Künstler des Expressionismus (z.B, Otto Dix, Emil Nolde, Ernst Barlach, Franz Marc, Käthe Kollwitz) versus „Kunst im Nationalsozialismus“

      • Musik: Richard Wagner, Arnold Schönberg, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Carl Orff, Paul Hindemith

Als zweiter Teil der Präsentationen werden wir gegen Ende des Semesters gemeinsam in ein Kunstmuseum gehen und uns einige Bilder aus diesen Epochen ansehen. Jeder wird ein Bild einführen und den anderen vorstellen. Die Bilder werden vorher bekannt gegeben. Am Ende soll jede Gruppe auch ein Poster für das Thema machen, das wir dann in McMahon aushängen werden!


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