Winter 2020 Expanded Course Description

German Expanded Course Descriptions - Winter 2020

GERMAN 112- Topics in German Literature- Cultural History of the Vampire

Visiting Max Kade Professor Stefan Keppler-Tasaki

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30am-11:50am- Hart 1116- CRN 58945

Beginning with Goethe’s romantic “Bride of Corinth” the vampire imago has occupied one of the most prominent places in the picture gallery of aesthetic horror. Even before Goethe, the vampire had been closely tied – through numerous medical and philosophical treatises of the early Enlightenment – to the German-speaking world. This is why Bram Stoker’s landmark novel Dracula starts with Johnathan Harker quoting from a German ghost ballad and with the count speaking his first words in German. The vampire seems to be symptomatic of certain features of German thought and literature as well as of international notions about German culture. This seminar traces the vampire thread in German culture with texts by Johann Flückinger (“Actenmäßiger Bericht über die Vampirs,” 1732), Michael Ranft (“Tractat von dem Kauen und Schmatzen der Todten in Gräbern,” 1734), Goethe (“Braut von Corinth,” 1797), Novalis (“Hymnen an die Nacht,” 1799/1800), Byron (“Fragment of a Novel,” 1816), E.T.A. Hoffmann (Vampyrismus, 1821), Le Fanu (“Carmilla,” 1872), and Stoker (“Dracula,” 1897), furthermore with films by F. W. Murnau (“Nosferatu,” 1922), and Roman Polanski (“Dance of the Vampires,” 1967). Knowledge of German is NOT required for this course. Almost all of the readings can be done in English translation, and the professor will summarize the few that are only available in German.

Required texts:

Alan Ryan (ed.): The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories. New York, London: Penguin Books, 2009.

Bram Stoker: Dracula. Eds. Nina Auerbach, David J. Skal. New York, London: Norton Critical Editions, 1997.

Recommended text:

Dieter Sturm, Klaus Völker (ed.): Von denen Vampiren oder Menschensaugern. Dichtungen und Dokumente. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2003. (Out of print, but available as a used book.  Relevant excerpts will be provided as a PDF.)


German 297-Special Topics in German Literature-Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus

Visiting Max Kade Professor Stefan Keppler-Tasaki

Thursday 2:10pm-5:00pm- Olson 144- CRN 58998

Thomas Mann’s last major novel, written from 1943 to 1947 in Los Angeles, re-examines patterns and dynamics of German culture from late 19th century neo-humanism to fascism. Doktor Faustus is a fundamental “Deutschland-Roman” as well as a renewal of the Faust mythology and an account of Nietzsche’s life, thought and impact. It depicts German academia, art, and bourgeois society through the era of World War I and strives to represent the conditions of Nazi Germany through the main character’s infernal compositions of music.

Required Text:

Thomas Mann: Doktor Faustus. Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde. In der Fassung der Großen kommentierten Frankfurter Ausgabe. Frankfurt: Fischer Klassik, 2012.