Button Menu
GRMN 412

Topics: German

Critical investigation of a subject, usually from one of the following areas: genre or motif study, comparative arts, recent writers and criticism, social background to literature, cultural studies, linguistics, contemporary theory. Prerequisite:Any 300-level German course or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language Any 300-level German course or permission of instructor 1/2-1 course

Fall Semester information

Howard Pollack-Milgate

412A: Tps:Die Weimarer Republik heute

Babylon Berlin: The German Netflix series shows us a portrait of Berlin in the 1920's as a society out of balance, teetering between the extremes of Communist and Nazi politics, featuring desperate poverty and dissolute parties, a culture, in the classic phrase, "dancing on the edge of a volcano." In our course, we will discuss the series in dialog with films, novels, and other texts from the period which will not only allow us to assess why many find the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) so fascinating, but also witness the incredibly experimental cultural vibrancy of the Roaring Twenties in Berlin in any number of areas: new forms of media, science, and technology, new notions sexuality, radical politics and social experimentation, new kinds of art and self-expression. We will look closely at the questions posed then about city life, mass culture, gender, democracy and its end, technology and at both bleak and utopian visions of the future, and compare them with our own, not so dissimilar, questions and visions. Weimar was a time with infinite possibilities, where the future was open for the taking -- it could have ended otherwise than in the Nazi regime which took over in 1933... What does this tell us about the dangers and possibilities before us today? Course readings, discussions, and homework in German.