Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Deutsche Literaturgeschichte: Von der Aufklaerung bis zur Klassik

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The study-unit “Deutsche Literaturgeschichte I” (History of German Literature – Part I) offers a general overview of the historical development of German literature from its earliest stages up to the “Weimarer Klassik”, the classicism of the Weimar period that came to an end with Schiller’s death in 1805. While reference will be made to the most important characteristics, works and authors of the various epochs preceding the Enlightenment — German medieval literature, the Reformation of the 16th century and the relevance of Luther’s legacy for German history and the German language itself, the Thirty Years War and “Barock” (baroque) literature, pietism and “Empfindsamkeit” (sensibility/the age of sentiment) — the emphasis will be on the three major epochs “Aufklärung” (Enlightenment), “Sturm und Drang” (Storm and Stress) and “Klassik” (German classicism). Representative works by authors from the various epochs will be read and interpreted, taking into consideration as much as possible the intrinsic qualities and the social/historical contexts of the works, as well as their origin and impact. Most of the texts will be discussed during the sessions themselves to make sure that students understand the language used and to clarify any questions they may have concerning the respective author’s use of vocabulary, idioms and grammatical structures. Therefore, while participants are introduced to the main movements in the history of German literature, the leading authors and their major works, the unit also serves to consolidate and enhance the students’ skills in the German language itself. The texts will be read in the original German version, but during the lectures explanations will be given in both German and English. This study-unit is followed in a later semester by “Deutsche Literaturgeschichte II” (Part II of the History of German Literature), which covers the literary epochs from “Romantik” (romanticism) up to the first decades of the 20th century.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this unit are to enable students to:
-- become familiar with the main epochs, the leading authors and major works of German literature up to the beginning of the 19th century;
-- continue developing the skills of close reading of German texts and textual analysis and practice these skills in written and oral presentations;
-- develop knowledge of specific historical and social issues and their cultural meanings (through the study of literature);
-- understand more complex German texts and formulate their ideas correctly and convincingly in German.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

-- point out and explain the characteristics of the various periods/movements ("Epochen") in the history of German literature up to 1805;
-- refer to works of literature and authors belonging to the various epochs to illustrate, both in writing and oral presentations, these characteristics (e.g. how and why, depending on historical and social developments, an author's or a group of authors' interest in certain topics developed at certain times, and/or how the literary works themselves influenced these developments; which genres/style were popular during particular periods and why these were preferred to others);
-- at the same time understand more complex German texts and formulate his/her ideas correctly and convincingly in German.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

-- identify the main characteristics of different literary epochs and interpret them within the larger contexts of historical and social developments;
-- assess various critical frameworks (e.g. national, historical, cultural, philosophical) through which literature can be read;
-- approach and analyze literary texts through an enriched multi-cultural perspective;
-- communicate better in spoken and written German.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Barbara Baumann and Brigitte Oberle, Deutsche Literatur in Epochen.
Students are encouraged to buy this book, which will serve them both as a course-book and a reference book even after they finish their studies.
Wolfgang Beutin a. O., Deutsche Literaturgeschichte von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart.
Nicholas Boyle, German Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford, 2008).
Henry and Mary Garland (ed.), The Oxford Companion to German Literature (excellent reference work for all major authors and works of German literature).
Eberhard Hermes, Deutsche Literatur: Epochen, Werke, Autoren (Ernst Klett Verlag).
Eva-Maria Kabisch, Literaturgeschichte – kurz gefasst, together with Christoph Wetzel, Literaturgeschichte – kurz gefasst (Textband) (both Ernst Klett Verlag).
Eda Sagarra and Peter Skrine, A Companion to German Literature (Oxford, 1997).
Horst Dieter Schlosser, dtv-Atlas zur deutschen Literatur: Tafeln und Texte.
Watanabe-O'Kelly (ed.), The Cambridge History of German Literature (Cambridge, 1997).

ADDITIONAL NOTES Study-Unit Title in English: History of German Literature: From the Enlightenment to Classicism

Pre-requisite Qualifications: Advanced Level German or similar


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (20 Minutes) SEM1 Yes 25%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 75%

LECTURER/S Kathrin Schoedel

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.