Graduate Courses


Fall 2020

GERMAN 297- Special Topics in German Literature- Graduate Film Studies: The Case of Cinema in Germany
Jaimey Fisher- Tuesdays 1:10-4:00 

The seminar introduces graduate students to research and teaching in film studies, primarily by offering an overview of the history of German cinema.  The course will take up the major periods of German film history, including the Weimar, the Nazi, the 1950s-60s, the New German Cinema, and the contemporary (Berlin-School) periods, but also probe this conventional periodization.  The seminar will engage each film in its historical, political, and economic context and provide some theories of how these contexts can relate to film itself.  Special attention will be to attendant theories of film and media as well as to how to effectively teach with them.  The seminar will focus on the formal and technical aspects of these films, particularly how they represent via a technique that self-consciously mimics or resists (even when instrumentalizing) the classical Hollywood system.  Among the historical and national themes this very rich cinema brought forth are:  modernity and trauma in the Weimar era, the impact of the Nazi movement on media, postwar German reconstruction, feminism, political radicalism and terrorism in the 1970s, the “micropolitics” of the home and sexuality, and its relationship to Hollywood as well as to American political hegemony.   Knowledge of German welcome, but not required.

Winter 2021

GERMAN 297- Special Topics in German Literature- Elisabeth Krimmer- Tuesdays 1:10-4:00

This course examines the life and works of Heinrich von Kleist against the backdrop of revolutionary turmoil in Europe and the Americas and the Wars of Liberation. It also situates Kleist with respect to German Classicism and Romanticism and contemporary philosophy, in particular, Kant and Fichte.

The offspring of an aristocratic military family, Kleist lived a tumultuous life: he embarked on a career as an officer, was arrested as a spy, held various government positions, started a newspaper, and committed murder-suicide in 1811. His texts are notorious for their unique style and great ideological pliability. His drama Hermannsschlacht, for example, was the most performed play during the Third Reich, but is also a favorite of the anti-imperial left. In exploring Kleist’s works, we will pay particular attention to conceptualizations of the body, language, and identity, the representation of race and gender, and concepts of war and terrorism. 

Texts to be discussed include Michael KohlhaasPenthesileaDie Marquise von OThe Earthquake in ChiliBetrothal in St. DomingoThe Broken JugOn the Gradual Production of Thoughts while Speaking, and others. 

Spring 2021

GERMAN 297- Special Topics in German Literature-Max Kade Visiting Professor- Hans Richard Brittnacher-Hans Richard BrittnacherTuesdays 1:10-4:00

Professor Brittnachers' work focuses on fantastic literature and the intermediality of the fantastic, literary history of the Goethe period and the fin de siècle, outsiders and minorities in literature, gypsies and popular culture.







Other Resources

UC Davis General Catalog: List of German Courses