18th- and 19th-Century German Literature: Classicism, Romanticism, and Beyond


In this seminar, we will study and analyze some of the most famous German texts from several literary eras: Storm and Stress, German Classicism, German Romanticism, and 19th-century German Realism. Students will be introduced to canonical plays, novels, short stories, and poems by Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, Kleist, Tieck, Eichendorff, Droste-Hülshoff, Hauptmann, and Thomas Mann. Students will examine questions of genre (e.g., What constitutes a novella?), literary era (e.g., What do we mean when we speak of a “Romantic” text?), and historical and social developments in Germany since the late 18th century. But we will also deal with with the “existential,” emotional, and philosophical conflicts that torment the literary characters that we study in these works. Students need very good reading skills for this class, which consists of three equally important components: (1) Students will have one seminar with Mr. Dollinger, who will discuss the class materials with them in German; (2) one seminar with Ms. Mizelle, who will work with students collectively on various grammar and vocabulary issues; and (3) one biweekly individual conference with Mr. Dollinger. Students must demonstrate advanced language skills during registration in order to be permitted into this class. Seminar conducted entirely in German.