2021-2022 Edition

Academic Catalog

German Literature in Translation (GELT)

GELT228 Going Green, German-Style: The Relationship to Nature, 1800--Today

Few countries display as active a commitment to protect natural resources and the environment as Germany. Its focus on renewable energies, recycling, and conservation in general is unique even by European standards, and in the U.S., Germany's policies on sustainability and environmental preservation are often held up as models. It is important to recognize, however, that Germans did not achieve this degree of environmental awareness overnight. Rather, it represents the result of centuries of contemplating, controlling, and conserving nature and cannot simply be transferred to other cultures. In this course, we will examine the German (and European) cultural tradition by analyzing artworks and texts from the past two centuries that have both expressed and shaped salient attitudes and emotional responses. The goals of the course are to provide insight into Germany's long and complicated history of defining and relating to nature and to allow you to reflect critically on your own attitudes toward nature and the environment.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST228, ENVS228
Prereq: None

GELT230F The Simple Life (FYS)

As the human population grows toward nine billion and our planet's carrying capacity comes under increasing pressure, many observers believe the human project itself is at risk. What human beings have accomplished is probably unique in the history of the universe; once lost to war, famine, and ecological collapse, the understandings and physical creations of our cultures will be irrecoverable. We must ask ourselves, with considerable urgency, the following questions: How do our values, our economic systems, and our behaviors--as individuals, groups, societies, and cultures--affect the conditions under which we, future generations, and the plants and animals with which we share the earth might live in the future? To what extent and at what cost can technology enable us to adapt to changes already under way? Should we take an "après moi, le déluge" attitude or try to prolong the life of our species, and if so, in what form? Does the so-called simple life, as conceptualized in different times and places, offer any useful models? Does living "green" make sense? What about environmental (in)justice? This course will draw on texts from a variety of periods and disciplines, written in a range of styles and from many perspectives, to examine how these questions and others can be approached. Creative thinking will be strongly encouraged. We will pay particular attention to contemporary sustainability initiatives and threats to the environment in the present moment.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST230F, ENVS230F
Prereq: None

GELT239 Modernism and the Total Work of Art

The term "total work of art" refers to the German concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, which took on new urgency in the 19th century amid social upheaval and revolution. Understood as the intention to reunite the arts into one integrated work, the total work of art was tied from the beginning to the desire to recover and renew the public function of art. While there exist many approaches to totality in the modern era, this course focuses on modernist theories and practices that simultaneously critiqued existing society and posited a utopian alternative. We will begin by studying formulations of totality in response to a cultural crisis initiated by the 1789 French Revolution. From there, we turn to German idealism and to an analysis of composer Richard Wagner's ideas and compositions that made the idea of the synthesis of the arts a central focus for European modernism. Yet if Wagner's works and writings provided the dominant reference for subsequent developments from the 1880s onward, these most often consisted of a search for alternatives to his own theory and practice, particularly in the visual arts. We will examine attempts to envision totality after Wagner in Impressionist painting and German Expressionism. Ideas of totality and utopia continued to carry positive associations for modern artists until the 1930s, when they became co-opted by totalitarian governments. The course concludes by examining the perversion of modernist dreams in Nazi festivals and art exhibitions.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-ART
Identical With: ARHA339, GRST239, RL&L339, COL349
Prereq: None

GELT253 The New German Cinema

This course will investigate the aesthetics, politics, and cultural context of the new German cinema. Having established a critical vocabulary, we will study the influence of Bertolt Brecht's theoretical writings on theater and film, ambivalent positions vis-à-vis the classic Hollywood cinema, issues of feminist filmmaking, and the thematic preoccupations peculiar to Germany, for example, left-wing terrorism and the Nazi past. Attendant materials will include literary sources, screenplays, and interviews.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-FILM
Identical With: FILM320, GRST253
Prereq: None

GELT279 Good, Evil, Human: German Fairy Tales and Their Cultural Impact

The collected folk tales of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm have had a substantial impact on the cultural history of Germany and beyond. Despite our sense that we already know these texts, it is worth taking a closer look at their messages. Deceptively simple, these little tales communicate and negotiate extraordinarily important and complicated messages about what it means to be human, to behave in acceptable ways, to have and control unwelcome desires, and to (be able to) imagine a better world. We will read selected fairy tales from the Grimm collection and other texts, investigate the historical context in which the Grimms undertook their ambitious project, learn about ways in which scholarship has framed fairy tales, and discuss adaptations of the fairy-tale tradition in films and texts of the 20th century.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST279, COL279, WLIT251
Prereq: None

GELT279F Good, Evil, Human: German Fairy Tales and Their Cultural Impact (FYS)

The collected folk tales of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm have had a substantial impact on the cultural history of Germany and beyond. Despite our sense that we already know these texts, it is worth taking a closer look at their messages. Deceptively simple, these little tales communicate and negotiate extraordinarily important and complicated messages about what it means to be human, to behave in acceptable ways, to have and control unwelcome desires, and to (be able to) imagine a better world. We will read selected fairy tales from the Grimm collection and other texts, investigate the historical context in which the Grimms undertook their ambitious project, learn about ways in which scholarship has framed fairy tales, and discuss adaptations of the fairy-tale tradition in films and texts of the 20th century.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-GRST
Identical With: GRST279F, COL279F
Prereq: None

GELT401 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

GELT402 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: A-F

GELT411 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

GELT412 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT