Contemporary German Literature and Film Since 1989


In this seminar, we will focus on Contemporary German Literature and Film since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. As we read plays, prose fiction, and essays by writers such as Sven Regener, Thomas Brussig, Ingo Schulze, Christian Kracht, Clemens Meyer, Maxim Biller, Bernhard Schlink, Judith Hermann. Doris Dörrie, and Zafer Senocak, we will give special attention to: (1) social and cultural conflicts in Germany in the wake of German reunification; (2) how German writers deal with the double burden of National Socialism and East German communism; and (3) “existential” questions facing ordinary Germans today. We will also watch several famous films—such as Am kuerzeren Ende der Sonnenallee, Das Leben der Anderen, Good-bye Lenin, and Barbara—that will introduce us both humorously and tragically into the life of Germans behind the “Iron Curtain.” This course consists of three equally important components: Students will have one seminar with Mr. Dollinger, who will discuss the class materials with them in German; one seminar with Ms. Mizelle, who will work with students collectively on various grammar and vocabulary issues; and 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.